Breathing a Sigh of Relief | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Breathing a Sigh of Relief

When I was in college, my voice teacher once yelled at me for not having very good rhythm.  He told me that I would one day be on stage and that the conductor would inevitably be frustrated with me because of my lack of rhythmic ability.

It was one of those moments that has been seared into my brain.  I remember exactly which song we were working on, exactly what the rhythmic problem was (partly because it is still written into my book and partly because I was a little traumatized during that lesson), and exactly what I thought about everything that was said.

And here's exactly what I thought:

  • Just because I struggle with the rhythm in one passage does not mean I struggle in general,
  • But maybe he's right.  Maybe I really do have a rhythm deficiency,
  • And if I do, well then, I will just not ever sing on stage,
  • But I really want to,
  • So I guess I will have to work on this issue.
And work on it I did.  But I have always had that sense of feeling like I would never be good enough at rhythm.  It does just go to show how one comment said in a less than loving manner can affect a person.  But that's not why I bring it up.

I never imagined that I would be on stage, working with a conductor to whom I was also married.  That never entered my mind.  Of course, the fact that I am married to a conductor  most certainly gives me more opportunities than I might otherwise have had.  I realize that, and for that I am grateful.  We have certainly butted heads about many things, rhythm included, when we work together, but more than anything else, I have learned that I can do it.  I may get stressed, but I no longer get nervous or feel like I don't have the ability to pull these things off.  So much of that is due to a wonderful husband who supports me in my talents and abilities, encourages me and also teaches me to be a better musician.  I am a really lucky woman.

I wish that my college voice teacher could have seen me last night.  The concert went wonderfully well.  I nailed everything on the Verdi (the 15 minute long beast), and I didn't even cry until after I sang my last note.  I only had a little hiccup on one of the Carmen pieces.  And yes, it was rhythm related.  Oh well.

At the end of the final number, Bria and Chloe came up on stage to give Joel and me flowers.  So adorable, and I really wish somebody had caught that on camera.  And I got a big hug from the conductor, instead of the usual handshake.  Again, I am a lucky woman.

I don't know if I'll ever get a recording of the concert to share here, but here are a few pictures that a violinist's father took. (By the way, the mic I am singing in is only for recording purposes.  It was just me with no amplification really.)



I'm pretty sure both of the pictures of me were taken during the Carmen numbers.  And yes, I got into the dress.  It was tight, but I could breathe just fine, so I wore it.

But I was quite relieved to get out of it, too. Because it's all done.  Finished.  For a really long time.  No more concerts for a while.  I plan on focusing on my children and home for a very long while.

Maybe I'll even paint the dining room or something.

38 comments :

  1. Firstly, you look amazing.

    Secondly, it is sad how one statement can effect our confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You look beautiful! I like the hair up looks great! Yeah for down time with the kids and the house! That is great time well spent!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Way to go! I am sure you sounded amazing, and you look amazing! Now go enjoy your kids, they are only little for a blink of an eye. I am learning that myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WOW! Just looking at the pictures is fantastic. Congratulations!!! So glad you can relax a little now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yay!! I'm so glad things went well for you. That dress is stellar. (As are you in it!)

    Funny how nay-sayers can have such an influence on us. It speaks much to your character that instead of giving up because of an issue, you just made it something to overcome.

    Way to go, Lara.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You look amazing! It also looks like it sounds amazing

    ReplyDelete
  7. You're gorgeous, Lara. Truly. I wish I could have heard you sing too. I have no doubt that you'd sound divine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay for fitting into the dress!! I knew you could do it! And I'm sure you sounded great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Whew! You look gorgeous and I'm certain you sounded amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok, you look incredible. I am sure you sounded incredible, too, because you always have. How I wish I could have been there to see you! Enjoy the well deserved break from rehearsing!!!!

    Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great experience - and YAY for getting into the dress - I need some of that motivation! Sounds like an incredible night - and if you are able to share some of the sound that night - please do!!!!

    Now, can I tell you how I laughed a little though? When I was in HS, I was in marching band (which I hated but I did it so I could also play in the Symphonic Band ... you had to do both). Anyhow, one miserable HOT summer morning the band teacher went on and on and on (in front of everyone) about my lack of rhythm. I was not alone, he was railing on a boy there, too - in fact, he said we (the boy and myself) should get married and have children with terrible rhythm! HA! Anyhow, I have always been able to laugh about it because 1 - I HATED MARCHING BAND and could care less if my feet weren't hitting at the precise moment they needed to hit the ground - and 2 - I had no respect for this man and later activities would prove my opinions of him to be very, very correct.

    Okay - so I have gone on too long - guess it felt good to get that off my chest. Oh, and I didn't marry the rhythmless guy - ends up I'm married to a Jazz musician with fantastic rhythm who teases me about lack thereof with great love. I am totally okay with that!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You look gorgeous! Congratulations on a successful concert. :0)

    You know, I can think of several instances in my life when I internalized things said to me by an authority figure - good and bad. It's amazing much of an impact someone can have on us with just a few words.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's funny how those comments still matter as an adult when we think we know who we are. It's something I try to keep in mind when someone new asks me to edit their work because no matter how much work I may think it needs, I don't want to be a voice of discouragement. It's a really tricky balance but one I'm determined to find.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You look beautiful! And back when I was in the music school in college, everyone used to joke how singers didn't have a sense of rhythm and couldn't read music, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You look stunning. Better than our missionary clothes singing off the balcony in Ploiesti. I so wish I could have heard you. I remember how graciously you agreed to sing "How beautiful are the feet" for my Sunday School class and you weren't even in my ward!

    ReplyDelete
  16. So happy that it went well! You looked great! I'm so glad you have pictures to show us.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congrats on the concert...wish we could hear it...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hooray for you! And yes, you look gorgeous. Congrats on it going so well and congrats on it being over. I love that feeling of relief after a intense involvement in something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am so happy for you! You look beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are gorgioso! I am sure it was a fabulous evening for the audience.

    Congrats to you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You look gorgeous! I think I speak for everyone who reads this blog- we'd LOVE to hear you sing sometime online! Hopefully you'll get a recording to post at some point.

    ReplyDelete
  22. So happ for you!!! You are GREAT! I really hope someone recorded so we get to listen to it also :) And I agree with everyone else. You look amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wish I could have been there. You have the most amazing voice! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh, I bet everything was just lovely! And what a special opportunity for you and your husband to be able to share your talents together. Having a husband who is supportive and loving and sustaining when it comes to our individual pursuits is awesome, but it's unique, I think, to be able to work together in that regard. I'm happy you get to do this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hooray. Hang up your dress and eat a brownie! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oops! Commented on the wrong post (the previous one; I was wondering why all the comments were about snow!). Ah, well. Congratulations on a job well done, and I hope we'll get to hear your performance sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You looked fabulous! Congrats on a wonderful job! Yes you are a lucky lady to be able to have these wonderful avenues to share your talent! Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You look beautiful!!
    I am so glad that you did well!! I know how stressful it can be.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lara, you look amazing. I am so proud of you and all your hard work.
    I'm so glad your mom was able to come out, someitmes life is just perfect, isn't it?
    My third grade math teacher told me I'd just never be good at math.
    Screw her. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. And now? Maybe you can breathe a big sigh of relief. Beautiful dress and, I'm sure, beautiful performance.

    ReplyDelete
  31. LOVE the dress! Knew you could do it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Glad that you had another marvelous concert. I knew you would not disappoint and that the dress pulled through for you. ;-)

    I'm sure Joel was feeling mighty pleased with himself as well for being to collaborate with you in and outside of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You look really fabulous! I'm so glad it went well. I wish I could see you sing in a professional environment such as this just once.

    ReplyDelete
  34. You look great. It sounds like everything went wonderful. I bet you are so happy to have it all over with at least for now. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm a little late on this, sorry.

    You look amazing in those photos- congrats on what I'm sure was an amzing performance.

    I'm so impressed that you and your husband can work together like that. My husband is one of the most non-musical people I know, and I'm so grateful for that! It made me smile to hear how supportive he is.

    My most memorable comment from a teacher came from a 80-something russian violin teacher who knew Shostakovich. In a thick Russian accent, he told me "Your intonation is like a swimming pool. You are at least four years behind." It devastated me then, but makes me smile remembering it now.

    ReplyDelete
  36. You looked gorgeous, and sounded like an angel. I also had the joy of being seated behind your daughters. I wish you could have seen their faces. They were so happy and proud of you that they were glowing. BRAVO!

    ReplyDelete