Silent but not silenced. Days 1 and 2
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Silent but not silenced. Days 1 and 2

Day 1   9.21.2013
We are halfway through Day 2 of my Three Week Journey of rehabilitation and recovery from a Vocal Hemorrhage.  Here's what yesterday (Day 1) brought me.  Water.  Lots and lots of water.  I feel like I'm going to float away.  Yesterday I drank about a gallon and a half of water, throughout the day.  Now, don't get me wrong - this is what I'm supposed to be doing.  Hydration is key (next to the whole no speaking or singing thing).  But man, is it dull.  I can't have soda, I can't have tea.  I can have my morning coffee and one cup of green tea in the evening, but the rest of the day, it's good ol' reliable H2O.  A residual effect of the hemorrhage is that that I'm constantly thirsty, so I always WANT to drink something.  So I don't entirely mind that I have a beverage at the ready, but man, water just gets old after a while.  And by "a while", clearly I mean one day.  In reality, I know they're going to tell me that staying this uber hydrated all of the time is a good thing, which means this whole business of drinking three times as much water as I normally would is going to become my new normal.  But man is it boring.
Plus I now have to be in close proximity to a bathroom at all times.  Because you do NOT want to experience me if I can't flush all of this water out when I need to.  Trust me on this.  It's not a pretty sight.
Day 2   9.22.2013
Today was my first public outing where I had to come face to face with not being able to sing.  I went to church.
I was hired by Trinity Episcopal Church in September of 1993 to join Trinity Choir's soprano section.  Back then, I remember Professor Dashnaw, my conducting professor and Director of Choral Music, telling me that a 'church gig' was the best job a singer could get, and for a soprano was almost impossible, because sopranos are a dime a dozen and once a soprano lands a church gig, they never leave.  So just being invited to audition was a big deal, then landing the gig was HUGE!  And, after twenty years, I can tell you, no other soprano is getting that gig until I am good and ready to give it up!
However, what do you do with a soprano who can't sing?
Well, if you're Martha Regelmann, Director of Music at Trinity Church, you have your soprano conduct the choir.  On a morning where I was planning on finding a quiet place in the back of the church to sit silently, I got a text message that read, "Feel like conducting this morning?"  And ... BANG! I was back in the game!  And while I would never wish what I'm going through on anyone, I do think that every choral or group singer should have the opportunity to stand in front of a group of singers and listen  - really listen.  Pitch, diction, dynamics ... all things that as an individual singer I pay attention to, with my own voice.  But step back from the tree to see (or hear) the forest.  I was so much more aware of other sections' entrances, because they were looking to me to lead them.  I was surprised to see where I (and my section) had not been singing a correct rhythm pattern.  And I had to have a completely different relationship with Martha.  Normally, when I'm singing and she is playing, we are so in sync with one another - it's like we breathe at the same time.  With me conducting and her playing, it was a whole other kettle of fish.  As I don't have many opportunities to stand in front of the choir, even though I've studied choral conducting, I am always amazed at just how much of a musician and technician it takes to lead a group in song.
So, I did get to sing in church after all.  I just didn't use MY voice.  I used twelve other voices, instead.  And that was pretty cool.

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