I have been putting off blogging about Carnegie Hall for a week now. The whole experience is still simmering in my head and heart. And I'm certain my words and descriptions won't do the experience justice.
From beginning to end, the whole trip was nothing short of spectacular. I'm so beyond grateful to have been given this experience. And let's be clear: this is not how I roll. I don't jet up and sing at Carnegie Hall just any old time. Why I was allowed to, I don't know. Imagine Jethro Clampett being invited to speak at Harvard graduation. Bingo. You got the picture.
But I had SO MUCH FUN. The orchestra played exquisitely. The choir sang...well, they sang every way; powerfully, passionately, tenderly, beautifully. You all know how much of a choir lover I am. I wanted to turn around and watch them the whole night. But I restrained myself. Mostly.
And, Melinda Doolittle? World class, amazing singer. Humble and warm-hearted. Set apart.
We arrived the night before. Pictured below are my friends Daniel and Christy Semsen (they came all the way from L.A. for the concert. Daniel composed and orchestrated the overture, as well as wrote many of the choir charts for the concert.), my intern Bradford and my assistant Kimberly. We were ready for the adventure.
Some pictures of rehearsal:
And after rehearsal, we ate what I'm sure most people eat a couple of hours before singing there:
There's nothing natural about walking down the street and seeing this:
So we had to bring some reality to it:
Ready for the big night:
We are both sneaker kind of people. But we were both a little bit in pride over our shiny shoes.
Speaking of sneakers, Daniel called me 20 minutes before the concert to tell me he opened his shoe box to find this:
So, Nikes at Carnegie it is. Love it.
About 15 minutes before the show, a security guard brought a card to my door. As soon as I saw the handwriting on the envelope, I knew who it was from.
It was my mentor and "worship daddy," Dick Hill. He surprised me and came all the way from Houston to see the concert!
It was by far one of the most heart-warming surprises of my life. He is the best.
It was a beautiful night.
After the concert, we went on a boat ride on the New York Harbor with the whole choir - all 220 of them. It was a blast. And we had some amazing views.
Melinda and I got to drive the boat. Or at least look like we were.
Uh, yeah. Travis, Captain Stubing called. He wants his hat back.
This is what artists, assistants and interns look like after a day like that day:
We were happy. Exhausted, but happy. It was a moment in time I will never forget, and a moment for which I am very grateful.