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.