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Jen and Miriam are up at a Baha'i retreat center this weekend, so I am on my own. Rather than mope about like I did last time they were out of town, I decided I'd look for a concert or something to go to (something I very very rarely do), and I was surprised to discover that New York Voices was going to be performing in Bowling Green tonight. (I was also surprised that the tickets were only $15, having paid almost that much just for lawn tickets at Ravinia last weekend.) New York Voices is a four-person vocal jazz group which I've been fond of since high school; I have several of their albums and they vie with Manhattan Transfer for my favorite vocal jazz ensemble. And so, hoping our old beat-up Taurus could handle the half-hour trip (it did), I headed down to Bowling Green.

And it was really a lot of fun. It turns out that this was the last night of a week-long vocal jazz camp for high school students: it's apparently an annual event, and while I don't know the details it seemed like NYV participated in it every year, and maybe it's at Bowling Green every year too, but I don't know. Lots of high school kids in the audience, and it was fun to stand there and drink in the excitement that only high schoolers at the end of a week-long intense activity have. The auditorium was wide but only 8 rows deep, with a stage flush against the floor (like Shawnee but maybe smaller, for those who get that reference), so even sitting in the back row I felt like I was right there with them. It's hard to convey the actual concert for you, but they were very very good: the close harmonies, the improvisation, the timing, and the ease with which they did it all was wonderful. As the final piece, the campers all went up front and sang this ethereal wordless piece of music written just for the occasion, with NYV providing solos; I might try to get a copy of the concert recording just for that piece.

So I'm very glad that Jen's retreat was this weekend, and I'm wondering if (a) this camp goes on every year, and (b) if they let old fogeys come too. :) Seeing them perform made me miss performing dreadfully, and I wish I knew how to get back into it again, while finding the strength to get through the boring parts of rehearsal without bursting. What I need are a group of people who are (a) just at my talent level, so that I'm not bored; and (b) are not terribly ambitious, so they don't take over my life. Where is this group? :)

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