frenchpony (frenchpony) wrote,

  • Music:

Midwest Convetion, Day One: Serenity NOW!

The Midwest Convention is one of the biggest Sacred Harp conventions in the country, and it is put on by one small singing group (the Hyde Park group) and one not-so-much-larger group (the North Side singers). As a result, the Midwest tends to arouse quite a bit of freefloating hysteria among Chicago singers during the month or so leading up to the big weekend. This weekend was no different. When my houseguest and I arrived at Ida Noyes Hall around twenty past eight this morning, everyone there was definitely buzzed. Since I'm not especially prone to freefloating hysteria, I get to absorb other people's freefloating hysteria. My motto for the hour and a half before a convention starts is: "Serenity NOW!"

But the nice thing is that, once people start arriving, the singing starts, and everyone realizes that hey, it's a singing, and we're having fun! And then we all start to mellow a little. Today's session was a pretty big singing, with a big, rich, full-throated sound. It's diverse, too. So far, we've drawn singers from seventeen states and Canada, and some thumping good tunes have been led.

I'm co-secretary of the Convention this year, yay, which is why I know how many states we've seen represented.

After I got home and typed up today's minutes, I heard sirens outside my window. In and of itself, this is not unusual, as I live four blocks from a fire house. But today, they all seemed to converge, not passing by like they usually do. So I went to the window to watch because, hey, street theater. There were three fire truck plus a couple of assorted emergency vehicles parked around the apartment building across the street, all of them flashing lights. I couldn't really see what the problem was, though -- none of the firefighters looked especially concerned, as they moseyed into the building, and none of the residents or passers-by looked anything other than interested in the street theater. After about ten minutes, the firefighters moseyed out of the building, got in their fire trucks, and drove away.

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