Today in My History
2000:Rolling in the Aisles
2001: Return to Sender
2002: Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Pre-Summer
2003: Spare Parts
2004: What a Difference a Year Makes
2005: Another One Up in Smoke
2006: Boogers and Vomit
2007: Status Quo
2008: My Life in 90 Seconds
2009: Barack's Bodacious Broads
Books Read in 2010
"The School of Essential Ingredients"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10) And Then I Ate
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BACK TO BACH
7 June 2010
Rachel Kessler, the long-time director of the Davis Community Church (DCC) Choir, is retiring, at long last. Under her teaching and baton much glorious music has poured forth from the little community church in downtown Davis.
We are not members of the congregation, but have attended some events there, mostly funerals or concerts, over the years.
Dick Brunelle, the guy who founded the Davis High School Madrigals, led the choir at DCC until his own retirement, when Rachel took over. We attended Dick's memorial service there several years later.
Today the choir performed the Bach B-Minor Mass as a Memorial to Dick and a farewell to Rachel. Instead of performing in the little church, they stood on the stage of the Mondavi Theatre on the campus of UC Davis.
The Mondavi Center is a beautiful facility that takes itself way too seriously. The rules and regulations for how the ushers are to dress, behave, and treat audience are unnecessarily strict (e.g., some friends told of a time they were being bothered by someone sitting next to them, who was knitting during the show, which resulted in poking my friend with a knitting needle. They moved to other seats, which were empty. The head usher told them they couldn't sit there because they were not holding tickets for the seats to which they had moved.)
But it was a great facility to present such a true magnum opus, even if there was only a small a dent made in the 2000 seat theatre.
I sat there watching conductor Kern Holoman (looking for all the word like either a reincarnation of Arturo Toscanini, or a giant condor) and listening to the music, while searching for familiar faces among the orchestra and chorus, and I marveled that such a small town could produce such an amazing chorale.
I picked out the guy who makes DVDs of all the theatrical shows in town, a neighbor (whose daughter was also one of the flute soloists and who watched, like a proud mama whenever the daughter had a solo), the guy we buy oranges from at Christmas time, The Psychiatrist's daughter, Mr. Brunelle's widow, and a husband and wife who perform in the chorus of the Davis Musical Theatre company. I never did see our long-time friend, the former president of the school board, who is listed among the sopranos. The sister of a guy who was the first percussionist for Lawsuit was one of the two soprano soloists (as was a woman who sang with The Lamplighters at one time).
In the house were lots of old friends, looking much older, including a good friend who confided that she contracted a virus this past winter and when she couldn't seem to shake it, she learned that it had affected her heart and nothing can be done because she's too old for a heart transplant. She and her husband, who suffers from Parkinsons, are selling their home and moving to a care facility before it's too late. She seems quite at peace with her sad news; I'm still processing it. I have admired this woman for so long and the grace with which she is handling what seems like a certain death sentence is just another reason to admire her.
The whole afternoon made me remember why it is that I like Davis.
Amazing people, amazing talent, old friends.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Birdfeeder at my mother's