Annual Inspiration

Written by Zachary Denkensohn, 17, Bass 2, YM

It’s hard to look in from the outside, the place where my rapidly lowering voice forced me to go. Though I am still very much part of the YPC as a member of the Young Men’s Division, it has been a very odd feeling for me each year to be relegated to the audience for the Transient Glory concerts (save appearances in one song each year). As a member of Concert Chorus from 2002-2004, I was lucky enough to perform in Transient Glory II-IV. As chorus was already my medium for escaping the monotony of school or any other issues in my life, Transient Glory provided me with a huge rush of exhilarating challenge and an enormous sense of accomplishment that would have been otherwise laughably unattainable.

Unfortunately, in the middle of my time in Concert Chorus I was unfortunately stricken very ill for a frustratingly long amount of time. Though I was forced to miss some time, the chorus became the only place (besides with my family) that I felt a constant stream of support supplemented with the opportunity to take part in extremely fulfilling concerts like Transient Glory. Suddenly, working on incredibly difficult pieces of music like David Del Tredici’s “Four Heartfelt Anthems” with supportive people who share the same core interests and goals made everything else seem insignificant.

Each year, I knew that from January through the end of April, I would have the opportunity to work on, (hopefully) perfect, and perform fascinating and sometimes frustratingly difficult new pieces of music written for us by some of the most amazing composers in the world. Many times we could even expect to have them visit a rehearsal and we could get a glimpse into their genius. The whole experience was a truly amazing one. I know that for me it instilled in me much greater determination, self-confidence, and musicality. The feeling of satisfaction of seeing pieces for the first time, freaking out about how hard they are and thinking that we can never pull them off, and then going on stage and nailing them in front of hundreds of people is unmatchable.

Though it is very tempting for me to want to live the experience vicariously through the current Concert Choristers, I try and find the positives of my new perspective on the experience. First of all, when you perform a piece, you are not able to hear the full effect of the piece. Since I have seen the last two Transient Glory concerts from the balcony, I have been able to see the pieces in their entirety on the day of the concert instead of waiting a few years for Francisco to release the CD. Though each year is obviously different, it is a somewhat good feeling knowing that I have been on that stage in this concert before. I understand how nerve-racking it is to be up there with the difficult repertoire and this perspective makes it even more gratifying to see the group sound and look incredible on a song (as they always do). Though I would obviously love to be there on stage again, I suppose that I enjoy being on this side of the lights, looking at an amazing concert while invoking the memories of when I was there doing the same thing.