February 3, 2008

A Wonderful Musical Experience

I haven't written much lately, because I've been so busy with this Sefardic weekend our choir was producing. A lot of pressure, stress, and frustration accompanied our hopes, hard work, and rehearsals. By Thursday evening, when we finally met our guest performer, Cantor Ramon Tasat, I was pretty much a frazzled wreck. I guess the rest of the choir was too, because frankly we didn't sound so good at rehearsal that night. But this guy, Dr. Tasat, was a wonder. Setting aside jet-lag and disappointment, he stepped up and took over guiding the choir, spending 3 exhausting hours lifting our performance in a most gracious way. I was amazed.

The weekend's events included Cantor Tasat leading services on Friday night, with the choir singing, followed by a huge congregational dinner, Sefardic-style, then Cantor Tasat participating in Saturday morning's service, and concluding with the big concert performance on Saturday night, with the choir joining him on a number of songs. Every part was a wonderful success.

It's not just that Cantor Tasat has a lovely voice, or that he plays beautiful Spanish-style guitar. It's not just the selection of songs, or his lovely commentaries about the songs and about Sefardic life and culture. It's about his spirit; it was amazing. His dealings with our choir, our congregation, and our audience were generous, graceful, and inspiring. The concert lifted my soul; the experience of dealing with this human healed some of my wounds.

In our daily lives, we meet so many challenging people. But once in awhile, we meet someone special, who enhances our lives, and it's so gratifying. At those moments, I sometimes look upward and say "good job, Big Guy!"

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