Driving the Cold Winter Away, for the 10th year in a row.
(photo: Mark Braun)
It was beautiful. Perfect, really. I couldn't have wished for or planned for or dreamed of a better anniversary concert.
Despite the fact that the temperature had dropped 40+ degrees in less than 24 hours. Despite the fact that the Tuesday before the concert I was diagnosed with "bronchitis that would have been pneumonia if you'd waited a day". Despite the fact that, as a result of the diagnosis and the loss of 4 pre-concert productive days, I had to cut two songs from the set list and forgot to arrange for an official photographer and nearly forgot to arrange for a videographer (videos coming soon) and forgot to arrange for ticket takers and CD sellers. Despite the fact that the dress I wanted to wear hadn't arrived by the Wednesday before the concert and I had not even a clue about shoes yet...
Yes, inspite of allll this, I'm so happy with how everything turned out. The weather was frightfully blustery outside, but inside, the church was warm and cozy. The antibiotics worked in record time (so did all the over-the-counter remedies recommended by my wonderful pharmacist and the hot whiskey prescribed by my mother). No one noticed the two missing songs - in fact, the concert probably would have been too long with them. My friend Tim saved the day with the video, my Mom and Dad and friends stepped in to sell tickets and CDs (Dad would like you to know he sold FOUR CDs, all by himself), some audience members snapped iPhone photos and shared them with me.
The Second Half Dress. I hear it looked like a disco ball when I moved.
(photo: Freddy Madrigal)
And my dress - it arrived and Mom altered it in record time. It was the first time a dress I wore at a concert got applause of its own. In the first half of the concert, I wore the legendary red ruffled dress that's featured on the cover of my All Hayle to the Days album to represent where I've been, all that I'd dreamed of, who I was when I started. And then after intermission, I changed into a short, silver-sequined, ultra-shiny number (with matching silver shoes, yes indeed) to say: "This is who I am now, and I'm loving being me!" People gasped when I walked out - applauded like they normally do, but then sparked up the applause just for the dress.
I haven't even talked about the music yet because, miraculously, every single song went off perfectly, without a hitch, without a vocal waver or a missed note or a missed cue or a slipped pedal (silver shoes = yay!). I have no idea how I did it, how my voice rang out so strong and clear, how my band followed me in my half-sick state, but we did it. And it was magical to be there performing and experiencing it all myself, to follow that path from the very beginnings, to perform the songs that meant "holiday concert" to me, many of which ended up on my All Hayle to the Days album. To move into my new compositions, to tell of my travels to Ireland, and Paris, then Ireland, Paris and Ireland and how they inspired the new me, the new music and art I make.
My good friends Ann and Sara, out of hiatus as Prima Vox.
On my "Fire & Ice" - oh, Paris memories.
Oh, those girls and our voices...
I'm a very happy harpist, a very grateful girl, grateful to everyone who performed with me, helped me, hauled harps and CDs and candelabra and music stands and harp benches and music bags and candles for me, made things happen behind the scenes, set up sound for me (Ann Rosenquist Fee, that would be you)...thank you.
Happy, happy, warm start to the winter season!