My fingers hurt, particularly my fourth finger. Each pluck made me pray for my skin to form callouses more quickly. The first week was trying on my body- by Saturday my back was sore from sitting up straight for so long and my hands were shaking when I put them to strings. But the joy of finishing with a successful performance on Saturday was enough to make me feel like it was worth it. The duet that I played with the other harpist, required that I learn how to tap dance. With six peddle changes in a row, I was worried I wouldn’t make it and a nasty buzz would echo through the hall waking the audience from their musical dreaming. But my fellow harpist and I made it through and celebrated backstage with manly man fist bumps.
I’m not going to deny that I spent most of choir thinking about lunch. With an hour and half between me and a plate of curly fries, it was difficult to focus. However, our entertaining conductor kept things interesting. Some of the pieces required us to sing in Latin, others to belt our best gospel. The long minutes spent pouring our voices out over each piece were exhausting. But when you put 120 people in one room, God does things.
A week of hard work and feverish pencil scribblings on music behind us, we sat in the shade of some pine trees. The topics of conversation drifted from boys to frisbee as the passerbyers sat down to chat for a bit. This was Sunday at Csehy. A summer camp devoted to music and the honing of your ear can be stimulating but exhausting. And a day of rest is much needed after many hours plucking away at strings and sitting straight in choir. The weather wasn’t to humid- as some New York summer days could be- it was pleasant. So relaxing with a light breeze and gentle sun, that I sat under those trees for five hours. Not worrying about finishing theory homework or whether or not I could handle the orchestra music. I was just sitting and sharing with some good company.
Whenever I sat in orchestra, I was inspired. The determination on the faces of my friends as they followed the conductor’s wild movements and produced flowing melodies was enough to make me want to become a musician. It was a true honor to be apart of such a phenomenon- children of the one and only King making music for their Lord.
As the girls gathered in one hallway opposite the boys hustling in the other entrance. Across the tunnel connecting the music buildings, which we had all passed under groggily on our way to chapel or speedily to get back to the dorms for frisbee, we could see each other’s comrades as we prepared for escorting. The girls parted like the Red Sea so that everyone could view the first boy who stepped up. We all grew silent so that we could hear him give the name. “Veronica Andr-ey-dis.” I was caught completely off guard. So without knowing quite how act, I grinned wide and strode out to meet him to the Red Sea awwwwing.
Csehy Summer School of Music is a magical place.
*Photos courtesy of the Csehy website