January 16, 2007


...it's getting to the point that so much happens over the weekends that I can't remember any of it come Monday. Making it worse is that I occasionally have some very vivid, realistic dreams, and I have to take a second to remember that stuff didn't really happen. Or, at least I don't THINK I wandered around an old Edwardian-looking college campus and stumble upon a giant restroom with a great huge fountain in the center, as well as an incongruous set of offices around the perimeter of the room.

Remind me not to drink a lot of iced tea before bed.

Anyway, best as I can recall, Saturday was spent ferrying Oldest and the rest of us back and forth to UAB. Honor choir rehearsals in the morning, then the performance in the afternoon. And even better than last year, especially the junior high/middle school choirs. And Doc Copeland and the rest of the UAB folks once again did an outstanding job of organizing the event and somehow managing to get all these kids herded together (something akin not so much to herding cats, as to herding hyperactive cats in heat hopped up on catnip and Red Bull) and singing beautifully.

Now the choir folks seem to be quite cognizant of various screwups, but from my chair, there were very few slip-ups. The singers are very good, but anything they heard that sounded off was more than made up for by the acoustics of the Jemison Theater at the Alys Stephens Center. I am constantly amazed at the sound of the place. Theater design is tough--and everyone hears everything slightly differently. Everyone has their preference, but like a Steinway or a Stradivarius, there has to be a certain depth and warmth to the sound so that the whole place becomes like a living thing. Too much brightness and liveliness (from hard walls and such), and it sounds tinny and harsh. Too much padding, and it sounds like everyone is being smothered by a blanket. Hard to make all that work out with the place full of people and mechanical and electrical noises, but the room works well. So for all the singers, if you screwed up, it didn't quite make it all the way off the stage.

As usual, my beef is with the audience, particularly the three women (or girls) up in the balcony behind the stage, who for the last half of the concert moved around and chattered like they were at home watching television. You couldn't hear them, but you could sure as heck SEE them, and it was uncalled for and highly distracting. A suggestion for next year would be to make sure that back area is cordoned off.

And folks--please. Take some cough medicine before you come. And give that baby a big dose of Benedryl.

One weird thing happened twice--two tiny fluttering pieces of paper fell from up in the rigging to the stage during the performances. I don't think anyone was up there, so I suppose it was just something left over from another show, but it was distracting, too.

Maybe I need to learn to just shut my eyes.

Anyway, great job everyone. And of all the good things about it, probably the most gratifying is that the experience has caused Oldest to be much more interested in going to UAB when she graduates. Although I'm sure the University of Anchorage is a fine school, I think she'd do better a bit closer to home.

After that, Reba's mom and dad took us all out to eat at the world-famous (written about by Lileks!) Olive Garden out on Crestwood Boulevard. It was good, although the wait seemed inordinately long for a table, considering there were only a few people in front of us, and it was 4:30 in the afternoon.

Home, then various family dramas that left me drained and begging for sleep.

Then back up bright and early Sunday!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 16, 2007 10:05 AM