Quick Choir Concert Recap


It has been a whirlwind few weeks.  Space Coast, Disney, home for a few days, then back to my hometown for a family funeral, then back to DC and straight into concert week, then a weekend with three choir concerts.

No wonder I’m exhausted.

I’ve missed probably 75% of my workouts since Space Coast.  I’m okay with that.  Life comes first, and I don’t have any major races for a while.  I did manage to squeeze in an 8 mile run yesterday morning, which should count for something.

The majority of my weekend was taken up with choir concerts.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I sing with the Cathedral Choral Society, the secular choir at the National Cathedral.  It is a gorgeous place to sing, and our Christmas concerts are definitely our big event of the season.  Normally, we just have one concert, but for Christmas we do three.  Two big concerts and one hour-long concert that is designed to be super kid-friendly.  It’s a lot of fun, but it’s totally exhausting.  On Saturday night, after two concerts, I could not believe how sore my body was.  I’m in fairly decent shape – I don’t know how people who aren’t manage it.  But even though it’s exhausting, this is my favorite concert set that we do.  I love the holiday music, even though it may not always be traditional.

This is a recording of my favorite piece we sang.  It’s not us, but I’d like to think we did at least half as good as this choir.  It’s sung in 8 parts and is a lot of fun to hear the lead bounce around.


A Weekend with the BSO

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall empty before a rehearsal

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall empty before a rehearsal

I survived my crazy week!  My training plan did not, but hey, I didn’t come out the other side with a cold, so I consider it a win.

This weekend, my choir sang with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  It was an amazingly cool opportunity, so I’m going to gush about it for a few minutes.  Music geek and all.  Plus it’s something I want to remember.

We performed Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” a far cry from “West Side Story,” but still featuring some of his favored rhythms.  It was a piece I wasn’t familiar with before, but now I will need months to get it out of my head.   It’s a very challenging piece and a lot of work, even though it’s about fifteen minutes long.

Yes, that’s right, all this work for fifteen minutes of singing.  Because we had to clear out of the space, on Friday night for example, the concert was scheduled to start at 8 but likely started a few minutes late because that’s how concerts work.  By 8:35, I was in my car on my way home.

It’s been fun to see reviews in the newspapers.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Except for a few uneven balances, the Cathedral Choral Society from Washington National Cathedral delivered the psalm texts with admirable polish, not to mention character.

(Hey man, you try singing over a giant orchestra!)

From the Washington Post:

The first half of the program was all Bernstein: the symphony, a product of his earliest years, and the “Chichester Psalms,” a mature, after-“West Side Story” composition. Both are spiritual, maybe, but viewing spirituality in its most muscular form. The Cathedral Choral Society (J. Reilly Lewis, music director) was the chorus for the Psalms, and I must say it was nice to hear it in an acoustical setting other than the echo-y spaces of the Washington National Cathedral. The men managed the challenges of the tongue-twisting “Lamah rag’shu goyim” crisply, the chorus fielded two excellent soloists for two small appearances, and the performance was alert and nicely balanced.

(The acoustics of our beloved Cathedral are always panned – but you can’t find a more beautiful setting.)

Watching Marin Alsop conduct was an honor.  She wasn’t her normal dramatic self when conducting the choral parts because she was so careful to make sure that we knew what we were doing.  Not all orchestra conductors are so attentive to a chorus, and it was great to know that she wasn’t going to lead us astray.  But when the chorus was silent and she was conducting the orchestra alone, it was absolutely fascinating to watch.  It’s very different to be able to watch from the front and see her face and her expression.  Absolutely phenomenal.  And the BSO is an amazing orchestra.  I will be buying tickets to see them more often.


More Snow?!


Fun fact of the day – The ?! is called an interrobang.  I think it’s a fun word to say.  Interrobang.  Interrobang.

So yes.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  It snowed.  Again.  On Saturday, I ran outside in short sleeves and a skirt and was comfortable.  I even had the windows open at the house for a while.  Today?  Snow shoveling.  Not in a skirt and short sleeves.

It’s actually not terribly cold out – probably around 28 degrees or so.  It looks like it might rain tomorrow, so that should help clean it up.

But I am so over this snow thing.  I am ready to have my bike out of the trainer and out on the roads.  And yes, I know many people who will still bike in this, but I am not one of them.  I think those people are crazy.  I am ready to be able to run outside after work.  I am ready to be able to leave the pool without my hair freezing.

These are small things.  Tiny, really.  But spring is coming, or so they tell me.

Might Be Reworking the Schedule


So, the rumors in the Maryland area triathlon community have not been good this week.  One of the big triathlon organizers, TriColumbia (also known as the Columbia Triathlon Association) appears to be floundering.  The only real news out there is this article from Slowtwitch, which doesn’t give much news.

What is the future of the organization? What is the future of the events this organization produces? What will happen to registration money paid in already by contestants? None of this is yet known. Ms. Salz said the organization hopes to put out a statement by the end of this week…

Awesome news, isn’t it?  I’m currently registered for two TriColumbia races – Iron Girl Columbia and Iron Girl Rocky Gap.  I’d like to think that Athleta (the big sponsor) and Iron Girl wouldn’t let these races fold, but if the registration money is gone, they may have to.

Thankfully, I have two other triathlons on my calendar, but my goal race this year was going to be Iron Girl Columbia, simply because I have done it before and wanted to improve on my time.

I’m not doing anything right now, though I am considering adding on an Olympic at the end of September even if these races recover.  The big issue is that I’m currently out two race registrations.  I think I can get my credit card company to refund the money, but only if the races don’t happen, which means waiting until after the race date to file a claim.

For now, I wait and cross my fingers.  This group has put on a lot of great races, and I would hate to see things fall apart.

The snow is here.

This was the scene outside my house at 6:30 this morning.  It’s still coming down, but not too badly.  The forecast says there could be a second wave of snow coming this afternoon.

I got workout number one in.  Snow shoveling in this much snow is no joke!  I did the main sidewalk and the path from my front door to said sidewalk.  I also have a sidewalk that connects the door to the driveway (and my car), but that one has yet to be shoveled.  My biceps were protesting way too much.  That will be the afternoon workout.

The roads are a mess.  The main roads have been plowed, but none of the side roads in my neighborhood have been touched yet.  If I had to get my car out, I don’t know that I could.

As of right now, I still have power and internet, which means I can still get some work done and catch up on the Olympics.  Should be a fun day.