It was an amazing weekend of concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! As members of the Bells on Temple Square, we like to put the sparkle in the concert. Sadly, it seems like we are leaving some of our sparkle wherever we go. We found sequins from our dresses on bells, on the carpet in the crows nest, even at the sink in my hotel room where I was staying for the weekend. It’s not like we are trying to get those sequins to come off.
Speaking of dresses, Wednesday night’s rehearsal was fun. WE were to be dressed and ready to rehearse by 6:15. So, we got there, got dressed in our “raspberry” dresses, and walked from the Tabernacle dressing room over to the conference center. Our director was there, and when she saw the choir ladies in turquoise, she said, “Oh, this will not do! They told me they would be in Blue, not turquoise! We will clash terribly! Go back and change to black. Be back in 15 minutes.” So, we ran back through the parking garage, back up the ramp to the tabernacle, back down the stairs to the dressing room, ripped off our sparkly dresses, and put our black dresses on, telling other choir members along the way. No sooner was I dressed in black when Jenn, one of our bell ringers, said, “I just got a text. Raspberry is right. The CHOIR was wrong. Change back.” Really? Is this some kind of joke? No, it wasn’t. Sure enough, just then we saw choir members coming in to change from the turquoise dresses to the Royal Blue dresses. And we changed back to our raspberry dresses.
It does look nice with the blue and raspberry.
Saturday’s recording session was, for us, a lot of hurry up and wait, as we never knew if we were going to be needed for a song or not. So we would get our bells, go upstairs and wait in the stairwell for our part in the song, only to hear that they had gotten everything they needed for that song. So, we would go back and wait for stage crew to let us know when they needed us again. We did that a couple of times, and only actually played twice. We weren’t bored, though, as we had the movie ELF to watch, and we of course had lots of snacks.
There always must be snacks at these things to “keep our energy up”. Of course, Friday night after we had put our snacks out, the men of the choir came by as they were lining up and nearly finished them all off.
Seriously. The first couple guys said something like, “Wow, you have a lot of treats here!” and I think someone said, “Have a cookie,” or something like that. Soon, all the men are coming to take a donut or a cookie before they go on stage. Um, we brought those for our bell choir friends, but… We hadn’t planned on feeding half the choir, but we are happy to share. I guess. They can bring the snacks next time.
To avoid a rehearsal on Wed just to come to rehearse ONE song, we dragged all the bells back over to the tabernacle during our dinner break to rehearse. The stage crew had been so nice to set up our tables and pads, so we just had to set up the bells, mallets, and music. We are playing on the broadcast next Sunday so we’ll already have to rehearse with the choir on Thursday, and we have our Choir Christmas dinner party on Tuesday, so we really wanted to avoid coming downtown on Wednesday, too. Even though it was a pain to lug all those bells over, it was worth it to avoid a rehearsal. More of a pain for some of the guys, actually. They had to carry the big heavy boxes, I just carried a little box and my music.
The highlight of the weekend for us, though, was when we met John Rhys-Davies. A few of our group were posed for a picture when a cart came up. John jumped out of the cart to be included in the picture! Well, then we ALL wanted a picture with him, so we did an impromptu group shot. John was so friendly and personable, we even let him hold the biggest bell for the picture. He was so very warm and gracious! What an experience!
I am in the back of this group, just trying to poke my head in close enough to get in the picture. But John actually shook my hand -TWICE- during the weekend.
When I asked for pictures they were always so sweet. It’s fun talking to the dancers back stage.
For the most part things went pretty smoothly. There was that time Friday night when I was on the far side of the stage in our “bunker” when the cue came to go get in place for Ring those Christmas bells. I realized it was WAY too late for me to be on that side, and I had the privilege of RUNNING down two flights of stairs, grabbing my bells backstage and then RUNNING up two flights of stairs. I got there JUST before the applause for that song, which is our cue to go up the stairs behind the choir and go on and play that song. Oh, and I tripped once as I was running up the back stairs, causing me to stumble but not fall (not like my big splat last year, thank goodness), and that one time I started the song with the bells in the wrong hands and I had to quickly figure out what to play with the bells in that arrangement. But those are just minor things.
I am SO thankful I get to participate in such an amazing event every year! It’s really one of the highlights of the season for me, and even though it’s a ton of work and takes so much time, I thoroughly enjoy it!
Now, I’m off to clean up my house and wrap some presents! Got some catch up to do!