My 8th grade Daughter’s Varsity Middle School Choir was selected to perform at a distinguished venue. The girls had worked their butts off since the first day of school. The director is one who both endears the children to her while commanding their respect and discipline. Their performance included 7 very difficult and musically complex songs for a total of 30 minutes.
They performed twice in one day for a total of 60 minutes of formal, performance time. Within that 60 minutes, there were maybe 10 seconds where they glipped on an a cappella number they know as well as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The girls were devastated. But … they kept their eyes set on their director, stayed on pitch, kept going, didn’t quit, recovered quickly, and finished not only that one piece strong, but all the rest of the pieces after. They recovered so quickly and so well that it took those of us who had heard them perform many times several measures before we even had the thought, “Ummm, did something just happen there?”
On the way home my Daughter was very upset. I let her vent and get it out. And then I told her, “This is a profound life lesson. This is more profound than if you had performed perfectly, because Life is full of mistakes, glips, imperfections. You girls stayed together, stayed strong as a group, kept focused on the director, kept focused on the goal, stayed on pitch, did not quit, did not fall apart, did not give up, did not blame, did not look around to see who or what. You kept moving forward. And such is life. Mistakes are made. But you must keep focused on the Goal, on the Director, trusting the Director of your life, and keep moving forward.”
Live performances in the best of circumstances challenge us. The circumstances on this particular day for these girls were strained because it was very hot in the building in which they performed. Add to that the lights beaming down on them on stage, black, formal dresses with black tights, uncomfortable matching shoes, a long wait in hot rooms to perform, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Us Mom’s were watching quite a few girls sway and wobble up there; we were sure we were gonna loose one, or three, or five. They were dizzy, keeping their knees bent, taking little steps in between numbers, breathing deeply. And they all made it.
They were well disciplined and well prepared. They knew their roles and each other very well. They have a leader/director who they trust because she has earned their trust and loyalty and respect. And they didn’t quit. They kept moving forward.
As time colors that day of their Big Performance, may they remember the 59 minutes and 50 seconds they soared! May they remember the time and dedication and love they poured into their craft for months and months on end. May they remember the group, the team, how they worked together to achieve their goal. And may they remember, too, that they kept going, didn’t quit, didn’t give up, kept their eyes focused on their director and their goal, and that they kept moving forward.
May this moment, frozen in time for these girls’ lives, become a beacon in their years to come, reminding them to keep moving forward.