"All My Trials" is not a choral "pity party", cathartic as the title may suggest! It is about using what we do best - choral music - to acknowledge our years of making choral music together so far. It is about embracing the difficult events in our lives that have helped form us and fortify us. It is about the strength of the human spirit to overcome even the most difficult challenges we face. It is about perspective. It seems fitting to me that we open this season with such a celebration because, truth be told, the life of any organization such as ours is remarkably parallel to the life of a person. Katie gave me a refrigerator magnet some years ago which reads: "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." This, to me, is the lion's share of faith. Some may define it as blind optimism. Not me (and I dare say, not Katie either). It was, in fact, this type of fervent belief within both of us which made Choral Chameleon come about. I knew I couldn't do it alone. Thank God for Katie! In fact, I'm dedicating my own work in this concert to her with great love and admiration.
It may also seem to you that a lot of the textual themes in this concert center around death, which could be considered morose or pessimistic. This is not how I see it in programming these pieces. I see the notion of death, in this instance, as a reminder that our time is limited here on earth and that we are charged with the duty of using our gifts to the fullest possible extent in the service of others. Penny Nixon, a spiritual leader whom I deeply admire once said: "It's not enough to simply say thank you to demonstrate one's gratitude. True gratitude turns into service." In other words, if we're grateful for what we have, then we use what we have to serve others - like you. So here we are. We're full of love, gratitude, and the sheer faith that human goodness is still possible in this world - troubled as it is at times. It has taken this faith, along with persistence, strength, and determination on the part of every person ever affiliated with CC to take this journey. Most of all, it takes you - all that you are, everything you've brought here with you today, and all that came before today - to bring the mission of Choral Chameleon to fruition. Even if "all our trials aren't soon to be over", we never have to "move a mountain". We only need to kindle the inherent strength within each of us to climb it together. I could never have imagined a better group of climbing companions.