I have been writing choral music full-time for 15 years. I love it….I totally love it. However, it is always good to learn another "new thing."
I am thinking of a scenario that happened in our home several years ago. We had just moved to Kentucky, and my Mom was visiting from another state. She must have been approximately 80-years- old at the time. We took her to an afternoon of horse racing at Keeneland, our favorite track in Lexington. The track and the thoroughbreds are just beautiful, and it is delightful just to see the people and those beautiful horses, as they walk through the paddock and run the races.
Kentucky horse-racing is part of our great culture, but we had no idea how my Mom might react to this delightful phenomenon. However, she had a wonderful time, finding joy in so many people-watching events, the Keeneland bread pudding (fabulous stuff), and the "cute" horses. She always picked the "cute horse" (no betting!) to win…they never won.
At the end of the day, while my husband was in the kitchen washing dishes (YES! He's great!!), she went up to him and said, I want to thank you for my new experience today. At my age, I don't have too many new experiences, and I really want to thank you for giving me one today. As you might guess, he loved hearing that expression of gratitude.
THANKS FOR A NEW EXPERIENCE. Even at this writing, I am having a new experience in my life. Earlene Rentz Online Publications, LLC, is creating a new website, and I am so thrilled to know it will be up-and-running very soon (stay tuned!). However, my "webmaster" is not just creating my site, he is teaching me how to create, edit, replace files, etc., and I am so grateful. It is a new thing, and I'm learning new processes in my life. I love it! The learning curve is a bit steep for me at my age than for our grandchildren or even a fourth grader. However, it is my "new thing." I might not be able to do everything I need to do, but I will find a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I am more independent, confident, and able to do some things now that were not known to me at this time last year. So….thanks for a new experience!!
Okay…so…what is your "new thing?" What can you do today that you were unable to do at the beginning of the summer…last year…or whenever? If you cannot find something you have learned "recently," I challenge you to find a "new thing" in your life. Ya wanna tap dance? Go tap dance. Ya wanna be in a play? Go audition. Find a new thing!!
Choral directors, find a new website…or a new seating arrangement…or a new conducting gesture that works better for your current group…or a new arrangement other than the one you have used for ten years…or a new component in your rehearsal. The list goes on endlessly.
I have been listening to more music this summer. I hope you will hear some new things in the music I write this next season. As always, I am totally amazed that 12 notes can be put in such a tonal and rhythmic order as to create new melodies and harmonies over and over. Music is the gift that keeps on giving!!
I am challenged to find new ways of expressing myself in my profession. I hope you will join me…
Until then…these horses look totally "ordinary"…
until they do this…
Go for it!!