Today is the start of a sad week.

Tonight will be the last regular rehearsal of my choir, the Master Chorale of Washington. We have practiced for many years, and for free, in the cafeteria of Geico in Friendship Heights, Maryland. Thank you Geico!!!

After tonight at 10 p.m., all that will remain will be two dress rehearsals and the concert Sunday.

Oh my heart, be not distressed.
There is nothing you can do to change what will occur.
Instead you must continue to buck up,
turn sorrow into determined pride
and make this last concert your best performance yet.

On Sunday you’ll have pockets full of tissue and wear no eye make up
On Sunday you’ll march out on those squeaky risers with a smile and head high
On Sunday you’ll ignore the aching in your heart so your throat doesn’t tighten and constrict your vocal chords
And on Sunday you’ll face the audience of warm and sad faces and sing your heart out
like the bird that has one song left in it’s breast as the sun sets… (note: we’ll be singing Frost’s poem “Come In” on Sunday).

This poem is probably about making decisions whether to get sucked into a dark mood or stay out and look for stars… and in this way as well as another interpretation, it fits my situation almost completely. In my mind, I am both the bird and the person.

I’m looking at the end of the choir (sunset), which is an event over which I have no control. While my urge will be on Sunday to indulge in my sadness and allow the quality of the concert to diminish… I will not wallow in sorrow because I am out for stars (to rise above the situation and strive for excellence.)

**p.s. I think there are still tickets for sale.  To buy tickets to this historic event, contact the Kennedy Center box office.

Here is the poem we will be singing Sunday:

“Come In” by Robert Frost

As I came to the edge of the woods,
Thrush music — hark!
Now if it was dusk outside,
Inside it was dark.

Too dark in the woods for a bird
By sleight of wing
To better its perch for the night,
Though it still could sing.

The last of the light of the sun
That had died in the west
Still lived for one song more
In a thrush’s breast.

Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went —
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament.

But no, I was out for stars;
I would not come in.
I meant not even if asked;
And I hadn’t been.