Yesterday's Concert

I didn’t write about yesterday’s choral concert because I was too lazy too busy to do so. I have to say, the new director, Mark Lawlor, has really whipped the Stillwater Chamber Singers into shape. By holding impartial, unsentimental auditions (at which all of the members had to try out) when he first took this post, he has cut a lot of mediocre deadwood from the group. It must have been emotionally difficult for the long-timers who were not asked to return, but the rewards were much in evidence yesterday. Not only is his conducting style buoyant and likable, his musical selections are well thought out and his interpretations are unique...

Take “And the glory of the Lord” from Handel’s Messiah, for instance. It was snappy and light, and oh, so Baroque. I have to add that Lawlor has won a grant for a full production of the oratorio, using authentic instruments, during the upcoming Christmas season. Not bad.

Two children’s choirs performed, and I especially enjoyed a cute little piece called, “Badgers and Hedgehogs Bless the Lord.”

The only part of the concert that bothered me had nothing to do with the music. It was the woman who sat next to me. She was so bathed in sticky sweet perfume that not only did I get a headache, a runny nose and watering eyes, but also a bout of nausea. And I had to struggle to hold back a sneeze the entire concert, besides. To add insult to injury, it was a full house, with nowhere else to sit. It put a bit of a damper of the otherwise pleasant concert. Please, please, don’t bathe in Chantilly or Shalimar. In scents, less is definitely more.