I had a dream:
I was the youth music leader at a large, busy church and we were putting on a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat." Due to time restraints, we were performing the musical without ever having rehearsed it. Actually, I had taught the choral parts to the kids (if you haven't seen the show, there is a children's chorus throughout; at least my crazy dreams are accurate) but we hadn't staged any of it. Shawn Dell was playing Joseph. The auditorium had "orchestra" seats and a balcony, and for some reason we had the kids sitting in the first several rows of the orchestra; they were singing facing away from the audience. The stage, on the other hand, had several tiers, and I somehow ended up trying to conduct from something like the fourth or fifth tier, where nobody could see me.
Just before the performance started, the music leader of the church let me know he had hired an orchestra for the event. The orchestra leader was standing on another tier of the auditorium (not sure why we both needed to conduct?) and was following me by means of a mirror, but the mirror was tiny and several thick posts made the triangulation very difficult. When I finally got so she could see me in the mirror, it meant that I was standing under an air vent which was blowing so hard on my hand that I couldn't do my beat pattern. I finally gave the sign for the opening of the show, and the orchestra processed in very dramatically from the back while playing (I hadn't seen this before – like I said, no rehearsals – and in the dream I thought, "hey, that's cool!") In the dream I really did hear the opening of the show; lifted from my Canadian cast recording circa 1992 starring Donny Osmond.
As the show progressed, we ran into some difficulties in that someone had pasted English madrigals into the score at various places where they apparently felt Lloyd Webber's music was inadequate, and a few numbers in I realized I was also supposed to be playing the Narrator, but like I said I was four tiers up and no one could see me.
I won't try and interpret the dream (partly to protect the guilty!) but I'll offer some context of what's going on in my life. In Joseph's words à la Tim Rice:
Tell me of your dreams my friends
and I will tell you what they show.
Though I cannot guarantee
to get it right, I'll have a go.
1. The First Presbyterian Church Youth Choir will be performing in church for the first time with me a week from Sunday, after just two rehearsals on their song.
2. On Tuesday I'll be conducting in front of my class for the first time, leading them in a cold read of a Daniel Pinkham piece with constantly shifting time signatures.
3. Ken Cooper at First Pres just realized that the organ can't be used one Sunday near Christmas because of the set for "Amahl and the Night Visitors"; he's going to have to call in an orchestra.
4. We are studying the Patriarchal stories of Genesis in Old Testament class right now (Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.... Joseph)
5. "Youth music leader at a large, busy church with tiered seating"... hmm....
6. "Any Dream Will Do" came on my iPod the other day and it was the best moment of my week.