Today was the 2nd Annual Strawberry Festival in our little town. The high school jazz band and chamber choir were scheduled to perform in the center of town. But where ever Chamber Choir goes, chaos is sure to follow. It began with a flurry of texts asking “what time r we supposed 2 b @ the fest?” Half showed up 30 minutes early, the rest arrived just 10 minutes before performance time. Those of us who were early set off in search of strawberries, because we couldn’t see any. After much searching, and supposing that it was all a terrible hoax, we found the sought-after berries (which took all of 5 minutes considering the size of the shindig).
Although there were only a few booths, I loved poking around and admiring the handcrafted jewelry, smelling the handmade soaps, and watching a woman spin alpaca’s wool into yarn. Throughout it all, we were betting on when it would start to rain. And unfortunately, my bet won.
Just as we got up to our mics, it started to sprinkle. Halfway through Joyful, Joyful it rained a bit harder. A few drops on our sheet music. As we began Down to the River, it started to pour (I couldn’t help but quip that we didn’t need to go down to the river…it had obligingly dropped itself on our heads). We unhooked the mics, deciding to see if the rain would stop, taking shelter at a nearby booth (and simultaneously coming up with several ways to fit a good 12 people in an 8’x8′ space).
The rain abaited for a while, and we decided to chance it. But not before attempting to protect our equiptment.
Our priority was to cover up anything that would stop working if it recieved water damage – a.k.a everything except the chairs. And ourselves (though the ‘stop working’ part could very well be argued). Umbrellas galore, plastic table cloths and garbage bags, we’re a very ingenius bunch.
So, the rain eased up and we decided to go for it. We were already soaked to the skin anyhow, why not just do a little singing in the rain while we were at it? So, we started our favorite number, the Glee version of Don’t Stop Believin‘. We started out here:
And then it started to downpour. We’re in the middle of the song, and W. starts waving his hands around in what looked like a futile attempt to shoo away the lightning (excess waving of hands is rather confusing if said person is conducting a choir…we have no idea what he’s trying to say. Louder? Softer? You’re singing the wrong note? You’re singing the wrong song?). We then realized, once he started disassembling the mic stands that he meant for us to move. So, after a chaotic hop, skip, jump, stumble and trip, we ended here:
The owners of the booth were very welcoming and rushed to give us more room. I’m sure they enjoyed their up-close and personal serenade. We finished up Don’t Stop Believin’ with wide grins as we were squashed together under the little tent, singing in eachother’s ears as well as Fame’s I Still Believe in Me. We cut our performance a little short, even though we had a wholly supportive and drenched audience. I think they thought our perserverance was endearing or something.
After disassembling our rather creative umbrella shelter, a few of us walked around and explored those booths that were still open, smiling at those brave, wet souls. But they didn’t want to stay very long, as the puddles were beginning to turn into mini-lakes. Very understandable.
But, we still had our smiles. Now, I’m off to take a hair dryer to my sheet music.