Almost from the beginning, tonight’s singing had a lot of energy. We had exhilarating singing for about forty-five minutes: a loud bright sound, true intonation, and faster than normal tempi — in fact, a couple of times the class seemed to speed up the lesson and the leader had to work to keep up; once, the leader stopped us and reminded the class to pay attention to the leader.
Why was the singing so good? Perhaps because some of the singers who came down for the Golden Gate stayed for tonight’s singing, including a particularly strong bass and a particularly strong alto. Now plenty of our local singers are good, strong singers; but when you’re singing with 20 or so people, just a couple of strong new voices can add something exciting. And there is something about going back to your regular practice singing after a good all-day singing or a convention: the excitement of singing with a large group can stay with you for some time.
After that first forty-five minutes, our energy began to flag a little. We mostly had had bright, high-energy songs. I felt myself getting a little tired; our intonation wasn’t quite as true; and I was relieved when we had a tune that didn’t take quite as much energy on my part. We recovered after break — not surprisingly, we took a longer break than usual — and the singing got strong again in the second half, although for me it never quite hit that transcendent level we reached early on. Perhaps if we had interjected a few more slow or somber tunes among the high-energy tunes we could have maintained our energy for longer; though that seems like overkill for a two-hour practice singing.