Marital Music-making

It’s the beginning of the crazy time (read: Christmas season) for musicians, so I’m late on posting this blog. I didn’t want to miss the chance though, to write about a fun musical day I had a couple weeks ago when my husband conducted an all-Beethoven program,

Nathan Leaf conducting

of the Raleigh Civic Symphony, with his NCSU choirs, and North Carolina Symphony and NCSU faculty players as soloists, in Meymandi Hall downtown.

NCSU at Meymandi Hall

I sang Beethoven’s song “Seufzer eines Ungeliebten und Gegenliebe” as a warmup for the Choral Fantasy, which uses the same tune, and it was a delight to sing in that beautiful hall with the talented Tom Koch playing piano with me.

Even more fun, though, was getting to share a dressing room with my husband.

dressing room sign

Since he’s a college choir director and I’m a freelance soprano who travels the country, we don’t get to perform together very often, and it was a treat to prepare together and perform on the same stage. During intermission some of Nathan’s students were walking by our room and one of them said, “oh, they get to share a dressing room because they’re married!” Hey, we’ll take the perks.

And on a side note, having a private dressing room is totally awesome — since many of the groups I sing with perform in churches, I’ve changed in choir rooms, nurseries, and sacristies, and when I was on Arizona Opera’s school tour years ago we had to do costumes, wigs and makeup in an honest-to-goodness custodial closet once — but dressing rooms, even in major halls like Meymandi, aren’t that glamorous. They’re usually in the basement or some other windowless place, and they’re pretty basic: counter, lights, sink, chairs (but usually not very comfortable ones). They do often have private restrooms which is really nice.

inside a dressing room

But you get your name on the door and that’s pretty special. And sometimes it’s your name and your husband’s name on the same door, which is even better.

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