Farewell, my lovelies

I have a choir-shaped hole in my heart. This has been a difficult entry to write.

This past weekend, Femme City Choir put on two fantastic shows at the York Theatre in East Vancouver. I think we did our best shows to this point. I loved the repertoire, and we used more arrangements created by our musical director, who is a brilliant arranger. The band and the singers worked very well together. The solos were great! I got to sing a duet on the first verse of "Dreams So Real" by Metric (I love Metric) which then turned into a sextet to finish the song. It was glorious.

The Saturday show was also my last official show with the choir.

It was a difficult decision to leave. In many ways, I really did not want to. Choir has been both enjoyable and useful for me. I love the people involved in it. I love how much we have improved in less than two years and through growth from about 15 to more than 40 members. Choir has been very good for my singing voice and my breath control. And every Thursday evening, choir practice was an excuse to wear something nice. It's femme choir, right?

If time were infinite, or at least more plentiful, I probably would not have left. But at some point during the last couple of weeks, I realized that I had not touched my guitar for longer than I could remember. I had scribbled some lyrics and actually finished a couple of songs, but they were almost flukes, because I hadn't really been working on them. I had barely practised with my drummer and partner in V+T, our duo.

I am also now involved in another volunteer activity that it important to me, and that takes time and focus as well. And I have new plantings to tend. And cooking to get better at. And books to read. Something had to give.

It's sad for me no longer to be a part of the choir for musical reasons, but at least as much because of people. Being the social critter that I am, I fear losing connections. I won't be at practice every week. I won't automatically see a lot of these lovely people. I only hope that the connections I have formed will endure. There are definitely people I don't want to lose touch with. Farewell ("fare thee well") but not goodbye, I hope.

I also have to make sure not to get lazy. When you're part of something like the choir—someone else's band, in a way—you're like an employee. You show up. You participate. You do your job, and you make a contribution. But you're not the boss, and it's not your responsibility to run. Now I'm back to being more like a freelancer. I have to hustle. I have to be disciplined. I've never been as good at either of those as I need to be. But now is the time for me to step up. Among other reasons, I said I was leaving choir to make music, and by George I had better have something to show for it soon!

I love my band most, but I'm having fun writing and playing solo songs as well. Catch me at the open mic night at the Heartwood Cafe on June 24th?

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