Today I had what must be one of the top ten coolest musical experiences in my 30ish years of life: From my home in Pennsylvania, by videoconferencing on Skype, I joined a rehearsal of the Western Michigan University Chorale (Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams, conductor) in Kalamazoo, MI. They were rehearsing my piece Love, thricewise for a concert coming up on Sunday.
From the comfort of my desk chair, in my bare feet and with the sun streaming through my windows on a gorgeous spring day, I participated in a rehearsal of my music that was taking place over 600 miles away.
I’ve used Skype a zillion times in the past; what was new for me today was using it to help me shape the creation of art with fellow artists. I was able to listen into a choral rehearsal, give feedback and suggestions, and see them implemented right away. And I was also able to field a couple of questions from the singers about me and the piece’s genesis. It worked incredibly well, even given my laptop’s lackluster sound card and sound quality.
All of the foregoing awesomeness wasn’t even the best part of the whole scenario, though. The best part was that the WMU Chorale absolutely hit my piece out of the park. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the ensemble and to Kim Adams for bringing my music to life so beautifully.
While hearing the rehearsal live and in person would obviously have been my pie-in-the-sky, I was perfectly happy to settle for pie-in-the-Skype. But if anyone reading this happens to be in or near Kalamazoo on Sunday, April 15, go (in person, of course) to the First Presbyterian Church at 5:00 P.M. and prepare to have your socks knocked off. The WMU Chorale nearly brought me to tears over Skype; I can’t imagine how good hearing them live must be.