I just got back Sunday from an absolutely wonderful time in Vancouver BC. The gay men's chorus here in Portland did a joint concert with the gay men's chorus in Vancouver. As part of Portland's 25th anniversary celebration, we're doing a series of joint concerts and the like. In June, the Vancouver chorus will come down and the gay men's chorus from Orange County, California will come up, and we're going to have a spectacular concert with 250 men. Those of you in the area interested in coming to this fabulous concert should let me know--I may be able to hook you up with some tickets. But heavens, I digress...on to the Vancouver story!
Me and my boyfriend Josef drove up on Friday and got there about 5:00 p.m. Since this was my first time driving in Canada, the whole metric system thing really threw me off. On top of that, I didn't know how their highway system worked at all, so that just added to my confusion. Luckily, Josef knew where we were going, so he was a great co-pilot. :)
When we got there, we found the place where we were to rehearse and parked the car. Since it was in downtown, we spent a little time roaming and seeing what there was to see. The architechture in Vancouver was nice to see--there were lots of skyscrapers and such structures. I bought a CD at the Virgin Megastore, and we went off to rehearsal.
The Vancouver chorus were fantastic hosts. They were very gracious, kind, generous, and a whole lot of fun. They were a very fine choir with lots of good musicians. Rehearsals were a lot of fun, and Vancouver was a hoot to rehearse with. After rehearsals, they always had social events for us to attend, and they even provided maps to the gay district and maps to the city.
The concert, as was hoped, was stunning. The joint pieces that we performed really were full of emotion and were performed very well. Our encore piece truly was one of those rare musical moments--for me--that I live for. Other musicians who might be reading this will understand what I'm talking about. It's as if you lose control of yourself and suddenly the music is taking over your body. All the while, you lose all track of time--it's as if that single, joyous moment is lasting an eternity, and you never want it to end. And in some ways, it never does.
For me, this is the single most compelling reason to perform music. Really, it's like an altered state of consciousness, but without the drugs. :) It gives you a nice, warm feeling, and you remember it forever.
The cast party afterwards was a fun-filled event. It was very obvious to me that there were those in my chorus who...how shall I say...copulated with the Vancouver chorus, and I couldn't be happier for them. To make a long story short, Josef and I ended up getting back to our homestays just before 6:00 a.m. (after passing out for a little while in the car while waiting to sober up). We went to brunch at 1:00 p.m. with our homestays, and had a very mellow few hours out on the town.
We left about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, and arrived home several hours later. We both still talk on and on about our experiences, and we can't wait until they come down to visit us this June. Overall, the experience was excellent, and as always happens with these sorts of things, I find myself feeling like a better person as a result of it. And it's a powerfully good feeling.