In college I was a music ed major (yeah, we know), and my major performance area was clarinet/bass clarinet.  However, part of my general education requirement was to sing in choir for 2 semesters (or was it 2 years?  Who knows.)  Anyway, I was completely blessed to sing under a conductor who was incredibly musically gifted, and even more people-gifted.  This guy knew how to get you to sing like your life depended on it, and at the same time, made you realize that your life did depend on it.  

Choir, Mexico, 2005
Dr. James moved on to another calling just before my senior year.  I was grateful to have fulfilled my choir requirement - he had left big shoes to fill!  We were so sad to see him go, but just before his departure, the choir traveled to Mexico to sing in a World Competition.  This was the first time I traveled out of the country, and one of my fondest college memories.  

Choir, Mexico, 2005
Just the other day Levi pulled out my Mexico pictures and asked me who this was, what that was, and where were we.  It was a fun story to tell.  And of course, who could forget the wicked case of Montezuma's revenge that ran it's coarse through the ENTIRE choir?

The last time I sang for Dr. James - in our host family's house!
Recently, he brought his current college choir to my old alma mater for a concert - and much to our delight, performed several pieces that we sang with him back in the day, too!

I wasn't sure if I was going to go to the concert or not.  It started at 8pm, I felt bad leaving Herb on babysitting duty when I knew he would like to go to the concert just as much as I would.  But he said, "Go!"

Three college friends, excited to see the new performing arts center!
As Christina, Sammy, and I walked into the new performing arts building, I was struck with the familiarity.  Which is strange because it was literally a completely new building.  But seeing old faces in and old town with wonderful memories transported me back to a different time.  Life was oh-so-stressful then, but beauty was being experienced on an almost daily basis.  

B-Rex, same old guy. 
Sitting in the concert hall, listening to the notes I had once sung scratched an itch I've had for years.  There is just nothing like creating music, experiencing music.  I laughed at myself thinking, "I can't believe I almost didn't come to this."  And seeing old friends is the best.  There was a quick bond and tight hug, even with ones I haven't spoken to since the day of graduation.

Choir Reunion, 2013
So, thanks, Dr. Buddy James for bringing us together and helping us create something beautiful all those years ago.  And thanks for giving us a chance to remember and experience those feelings again.  

And thank you God for the incredible gift of music.

Geez.  I'm such a nerd.


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