12.03.2009

I Remember Those Decembers

I ventured onto facebook yesterday, and saw two dear friends' statuses:

"First performance tonight! Wish me luck!

"1 performance down..... like 35 to go"

A wave of unbidden nostalgia washed over me and I began to reflect.

On what? You may ask.

This:

(Senior year)

And this:

(Junior Year)

Madrigals. Oh, Madrigals. Being a member of this performing group consumed my life for 2 years. The first year, I was the accompanist and the only junior in a group of 28 seniors. They took me under their wing and to this day I still consider some of them to be my best friends. Most of the boys are on missions, and I miss them terribly. Most of the girls are at different schools and I rarely see them. We've gone different ways but I'll never forget these people. The Christmas season that year holds many special, and hilarious, memories for me. This was the point where I started coming out of my shell, and really growing to love and appreciate everyone. Some things I remember vividly about that season:

The retreat. How could anyone forget the retreat. We spent a whole Saturday in Heber, the home of our choir teacher's parents. It went a little something like this: Arrive at school, a wee bit too early for a Saturday. Practice, practice, practice. Laughing. "Focus!" Drive to Heber. Eat. Head to church. More practice, practice, practice. Break. Orange juice and donuts. Practicey, Practice, Puh-ractice. Separate into sectionals. Break. Lots of laughing. Eat some more. A little more prrrrractice! Perform. That night. The whole show. For parents and friends. The day we learn it. Crazy, I know. But, surprisingly, it turned out to be pretty fun.

Kjarinda, Britny, Emilee and I
were at Kj's house on Sunday after we'd performed in Emily Randall's ward. We were driving, we stopped at the cemetery. We were all just talking (me not so much), when I rolled down the window, stuck my head out, made a face, pulled my head back in and rolled the window up. It was just one of those weird random things that happen, but they thought it was hilarious. They talked about it for months afterward. Although, I'm still not quite sure why it was so particularly funny, but it was very instrumental in helping me realize that people like my weird quirks. Most of the time.

The time we performed in Heber. I don't remember the specific performance, they all kind of jumble together in my head because it was the same thing over and over. But we traveled to Wendy's after the performance in our formal Madrigal attire. The cashier asked if we had been to a dance. We all looked at each other, laughed, and said no, and proceeded to joke the rest of the night about wearing those not-so-beautiful dresses to a dance, about all 15 of us girls wearing the same dress to a dance.

The nervous feeling that would rise in my chest every time I sat down at the piano to play that half-hour long show. Even though I really knew all those accompaniments backwards and forwards, I still worried about messing something up. But, when I did play well, I loved the feeling of bowing, alone, and just being recognized for what I did. I was important too!

Senior year, I had the opportunity to sing. And I found my voice! During the Christmas season, it started to burst from me at random moments, and I was delighted with my capacity to produce tuneful, melodious sounds from somewhere other than my fingers! I felt like I made a strong bond with these people as well. Spending that much time together either creates animosity or love, and I felt like, for the most part, we had love.

Memories from senior year:

Almost exact repeat of the retreat junior year. Except this time, the Saturday that was chosen was the day of the BYU - Utah football game. (You would have been scared if you saw Cameron's face when he found out) It was better we didn't see it though. Ouch.. that loss still hurts me.

Constantly worrying I was going to end up in the wrong spot in the choreography and stick out like a sore-thumb. Always doing the turn in "Christmas In About Three Minutes" wrong, wrong, wrong. Getting singled out by Ms. M. during rehearsal for that very thing.

Driving all over the place with a huge group of people, just laughing and having a great time. My memories from this year are less specific and more jumbled together, but I really loved both years.

It may seem like I enjoyed junior year a little bit more, but I liked both years equally. It was just more new junior year. A new experience, going around and performing all these places, whereas senior year I went to many of the same places, and it just felt a whole lot like deja vu.

But now, I'm missing it so much! I miss all those car rides. All the laughing and joking together. The impossible bond that was felt as we would get up on stage and perform the music we had worked so hard on. I miss having that camaraderie. I miss creating beautiful music and splendid memories. I miss bringing Christmas joy to little kids, old folks, and all the in-betweens. As much as I may have complained about it at the time, I really loved every minute of it.

I know I can't go back, but sometimes I wish I could. I know a lot of people reading this will think I'm crazy for loving it that much. But here's what I've learned from all this: Never take anything for granted. You'll regret it later. Enjoy life while it's happening! Think on the positive side of things, and life will seem so much better. And if any of you current Madrigals are reading this, you will miss it when it's over. Live it up!!!!



P.S. Don't you love how I said I wasn't going to be blogging this week and I've blogged every day so far? Well, I find it's been my only release for the stress I'm feeling. So, I hope it is enjoyed. Don't worry, my studying is getting done! ;)

2 comments:

Britny Ann Mortensen said...

I made your blog!!! WOOT!!! Good times, Ash. We need to play over Christmas break, my dear.

Ashley Benjamin said...

Yes we need to! Can we please? Since you're going to freaking NEW YORK!?!?! Ahh, I'm so jealous.