Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lamb of God Performance

Tonight BJ and I performed with the Southwest Symphony, the Lieto Voices Choir, and 8 amazing soloists in a tour-de-force production of Lamb of God at the Cox Performance Center at DSU, filled to near capacity. It was one of the most powerful musical and spiritual experiences I have ever had and, though it is SO late, I must write a few of my feelings, knowing that the words I write will not begin to express the feelings I've felt tonight.

My role tonight was Martha, who sings "Make Me Whole" a piece begging the Savior to heal her and help her in dealing with the despair she faces after thinking her brother Lazarus is dead. It is a beautiful, powerful, achingly sorrowful yet hope-filled piece of music.

Even as I rehearsed it, I would be brought to tears as I contemplated the plight of Martha. A woman, in that time needed a protector. Without a husband, Martha looked to Lazarus not only as her brother but as her protector and provider. For her, losing him meant losing everything.

And yet, Martha's song is both a plea to the Savior for his help and also a statement of faith, that though she doesn't know how, she knows the Savior can make her whole.

I have approached this performance with a fair amount of nerves. We performed from memory and with only a few rehearsals with the symphony. Facing the concert tonight, I had only sung my part 3 times with the orchestra which was a bit frightening. With a piano accompanist you can make mistakes and know the accompanist will follow but with the machine that is a symphony, if a soloist messes up, the ship is sunk.

However, as I mentally prepared and prayed about tonight's performance, I prayed for peace and the ability to overcome any worry or fear and to truly tell Martha's story with my whole soul. I wanted to lay everything I have to give on the alter tonight. To share my soul, my faith, my testimony of Jesus Christ and all the times he has made me whole.

As I sat, staring out into the packed house tonight, instead of feeling fear, I felt gratitude and love and a responsibility to share in the best, most complete way, the message of hope and faith. As I stood and sang, I felt deeply. I could feel her sorrow and grief at the loss of her brother. I could feel her desperation and her plea to the Savior and MY pleas and desperation and hope in Christ. As I sang I was overcome with such a powerful feeling of being a witness of the Savior. Tonight I sang my witness, my testimony and my soul. And when I sat down, the Holy Ghost witnessed Divine approval.

Afterward many people said beautiful things to me, but the term several people used was "perfect". Certainly I am not perfect but I believe that opening of the soul and giving everything I could possibly give allowed Martha to come to life and her message to be shared in a way that deeply touched others.

I am SO grateful for these amazing, rare, precious opportunities! I'm grateful for the health and strength to sing and testify. I'm humbled at the opportunities and the power of spirit that I have felt as I sang tonight.

Lamb of God is an inspired piece and tonight I felt each soloist giving their very best gifts tonight. The stage was a sacred place tonight and each gave their offering. I believe all were accepted tonight.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

McKay's Prayer

On Saturday night BJ, Dad, and I had our final concert of the season for St George Chamber Singers. It went really well, I think our best yet!

The boys are finally getting old enough to attend events like this, so we gave them the choice of staying home with a babysitter or coming to the concert with Nana. They chose to attend and afterward we all went and got frozen yogurt together. It was so much fun to spend the time together! I could see them from the stage while we were singing and I was so pleased to see them sitting very quietly!

After all the fun we headed back home and got ready for bed. McKay offered the family prayer and in it he thanked Heavenly Father for Mom and her "beautiful voice". For a kid who spent his early years covering his ears and shouting, "Stop practicing!!" every time I began to even hum, this was a HUGE deal! I was so touched! Perhaps there's hope of him liking music after all!

In the same prayer he also thanked Heavenly Father for Dad because he "always helps us with things like homework and spelling". I could see BJ's face light up and, I think, a tear come to his eye. He loves his boys so much. I think he felt so happy to hear McKay recognize the love and support given so often.

Also, I have to say, Kate is the CUTEST thing ever! She still hardly talks but is absolutely charming! She loves to walk and does this cute little strut where she swings her arms really big as her tiny legs walk along. It's adorable! She loves to jump on the trampoline here at grandma's house and bounces really high! She also loves to name the people she loves. At least twice a day she goes through her list: Papa, Nana, Daddy, EE-ee (Lily), and Bama (Grandma Cox).