Memoirs of An A Cappella Sleepover
Posted on Jan 15 2013 at 09:06:40 AM in Performing Arts
This past weekend, I thought I was in heaven.
I started to write about the experience:
"Right now there are at least 12 male voices echoing in my basement (more are due to arrive). Ranging in tone, volume and expression, the voices laugh, exclaim, sing and hum. This group of young men is playing foosball and relaxing in my basement playroom. It is the room where my son learned to play guitar; where my daughter played electric bass; and my other son learned to play the drums. It's the place where they too would jam and laugh, exclaim and hum - but it's been a quiet place for too long - until tonight."
I couldn't finish writing. The group emerged from the basement to greet some late arrivals and I had to leave the keyboard.
Before I knew it, my son and his college a cappella group gathered around the granite kitchen island counter top and broke into song. They sang their gorgeous version of "Some Nights" by Fun.
It was the first day of their winter tour and the first time they had gathered to sing since leaving school for the holidays. "We just need to sing right now," their music director said, and they did. They belted out the song in an unabashed, project-your-heart-out, and sing-like-you-mean-it fashion that left me breathless while I leaned against the kitchen stove.
Their voices echoed and filled my home in a way that has never happened before. A cappella is heavenly, but it was more than that. I felt real love. Love for their voices, love for this group that had embraced my son. It was almost as if I was seeing and hearing the future; my future filled with family and descendants - bringing with them lots of noise and excitement. Maybe it was this feeling of fulfillment that made me feel so close to heaven. I'm not really sure.
What I do know is for two nights my husband and I hosted the Washington University Stereotypes A Cappella group in our home - all 16 of them. The group skillfully negotiated our two showers as well as the limited beds and couches. I amassed an assortment of mattresses and blankets and somehow they figured out how to make it all work. It really wasn't an imposition at all.
They performed at a high school, a middle school and at an evening concert at our church. They held practice in my living room, told jokes around my dining room table, and sang "Shout" by Usher when I asked them to sing for cake. We fed them several more times and then they were off to other homes in other towns. Everyone got a hug; I got flowers; and tonight I realize how much I miss the noise.