This afternoon at the high school, the entire student body and members of the community (too few in my opinion) were treated to a concert by America’s Finest Singing Machine, The Bowling Green State University Men’s Chorus. Although its size has dwindled and it is now under a new master from when I was a member, I am pleased to say that the tradition is alive and well. Starting off with the ever traditional “Sing Dem Herrn,” I got goosebumbs as the men marched double file to the risers filling the air with music. The repetoire has not changed a bit: some classical (even a Gregorian chant), contemporary, gospel, and novelty bits. There were also appearances by the chamber choir (something new to me) as well as the two varsity quartets. I am sure that the long standing lists of quartets who have traveled on to contests is still alive and well. The chamber ensemble performed a Halloween themed medley (“The Addams Family, and “Ghostbusters”… I wonder how many of the men actually remember the movie). I actually was seated beside a woman whose son is a member.
At the halfway point the director, Dr. Skoog Got on his soap box (a well needed one) to speak on Arts in the school (or lack thereof). Today in over 60% of our local schools there is no arts program. No music, no band, no choir, no drama. That is a shame. As Dr. Skoog pointed out, in the next 20 years if the trend continues there will be no need for ipods or mp3 players because our children will not be taught in the arts. Grant it, literacy is important but there are students who have a natural inborn talent that if the decline in arts education continues that talent will not be cultivated. Ok… on to the highlight.
The second half of a BGSU Men’s Chorus concert is devoted to the more light-hearted, crowd-pleasing, traditional fare. This afternoon was no exception. As Dr. Skoog invited any chorus alums to come to the stage, the lady beside me immediately stood up so I could make my way to the gymnasium floor. After I shook the director’s hands and pulled out my white gloves, I THOUGHT I knew what was coming. But no, the announcement was made that we would be performing the traditional initiation piece (true that the new members learn it the night before the first time they perform and it is one of the hardest songs you will ever learn). EVEN BETTER!!! I cannot go into detail in case anyone who reads this blog may one day wish to become a member of the chorus. But if asked, performer that I am, I could be pressed into doing it.
So… a fantastic blast down memory lane…. and as a friend and teacher pointed out to me after the concert… “You never missed a beat. You never forget do you.” Nope… just like I never forgot “Oops pardon me, blondie” or “Baloons for sale; Baloons for sale; RED, YELLLOW and GRREEEEN BALOONS!” I just wish Emily had been there. She never got to see me perform with the chorus.