The Perils of Folder Shoulder, Day 51
Now for the most challenging portion of my day, attempting to write a quicker and shorter post. Receiving an unexpected late phone call from a friend left me too distracted to realize that tomorrow’s rehearsal schedule for Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust calls us to sing at a very early hour (for singers), and I have less than my truly required eight hours of sleep ahead of me tonight. Living the life of a classical singer who often sings in choirs presents some wonderful journeys alongside many surprising difficulties. Aside from the more annoying high maintenance daily concerns like sleep, humidity levels, physique, sinuses, allergies, reflux, body alignment, hydration (aka water versus alcohol intake), and which muscles to train or leave untrained, singing in professional choirs in New York requires an extremely high level of professionalism, concentration, rhythmic sense, sight reading ability, musicianship, and confidence. Not an easy task by far.
In today’s rehearsal, I sang some amazing music with the New York Virtuoso Singers, including a piece by Mark Adamo with some metric changes, fantastically quick textual challenges, and a great deal of independence required with several sections involving one singer per part in a chorus of twenty-eight. Have I mentioned we rarely use piano accompaniment when learning these works? I love my colleagues; marvelously talented, friendly, and professional, they make the experience surprisingly easy, as does the group’s conductor and artistic director, Harold Rosenbaum. Although I have only had the opportunity to work with him twice now, I definitely think his musicianship and lighthearted personality contributes to the solidity and confidence of the choir.
Surprisingly, I struggled most at rehearsal with my uphill battle to comfortably hold my music for over three hours after, sadly, my final personal training session at New York Sports Club with Nick Zinani. Perhaps I might have thought through waiting until today to focus on my arms and shoulders, but I certainly have no actual regrets. Of course, I do wish I could stay at the Crowne Plaza and continue my workouts in a place where I feel so comfortable with someone who now knows me well enough to say to me, “You’re kind of whiny today” and get away with it. Alas, I cannot afford an eighty dollar per month gym. Thanks to the combined generosity of Nick and groupon, I did gain some amazing perspective on my body alignment and exercised some very neglected muscles while feeling secure enough to address any concerns I had when my neck (one of those areas I don’t want to train) felt at all strained, for example.
Few things rival the benefit of having a solid personal trainer to guide one’s exercise routines in the right direction. A good trainer like Nick can make the difference between having a productive workout and wasting tons of time and effort with no results. He also works with balance and posture and seems willing and open to discuss and address just about any concern or fitness interest one might have. For those of you who have considered working with a trainer, meet with one first to talk about your exercise needs and desires, and do not withhold information about pain you might have had or areas in which you truly require caution. Trust your instincts to find someone open and willing to help and never harm you – and of course the fact that the gyms have insurance for their trainers never hurts. As for me, I may require a little extra caution tomorrow trying to hold my Schumann score for a six hour rehearsal on about as much sleep, but it was well worth the effort. Thanks, Nick.