Rodgers and Hammerstein

It's early Monday morning. Way early. My typical post-concert weekend insomnia. Maybe it's the price I pay for liking my job as much as I do. I can understand having trouble sleeping after the Saturday night show, or even after a late rehearsal, where adrenaline is still pumping through my system. But after a Sunday matinee, where I get several hours to come down from the concert high, and whatever stresses of the weekend are seemingly over, one would figure I'd sleep like a lamb. But no...

Ah well, it is my cross to bear.

This was a most enjoyable weekend's work. We performed our second Pops series concerts, "An Evening with Rodgers and Hammerstein", aided by three wonderful Broadway stars, Melissa Errico, Gary Mauer and William Michals, and the splendid Susquehanna Chorale, with whom I've developed a lovely working relationship. Both concerts were sold out - we have often come close, but rarely has every seat literally been sold. The ambiance was electric. Of course the orchestra came through with flying colors, on what was actually a rather difficult program.

And the music is gorgeous. Some of the most beautiful music ever written. Admittedly, I am a sucker for classic musical theater, but this is as good as it gets. Not a bad song in the bunch, and many wonderful songs were not included.

There's an honesty about Rodgers and Hammerstein that is almost disarming. The poetry and naive optimism of Hammerstein's lyrics combined with the simple yet effusive joy of Richard Rodgers music leaves the listener (and performer) with a smile and often with goosebumps. This is feel good music at its best. Some might say it's corny, but I'll take that brand of corn any day.

To get to perform this music is extremely satisfying. Even worth losing a few nights' sleep.

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