This time last week I was with fellow high school students on a major trip down Memory Lane, singing a happy tune as only choir members who haven't seen each other in a couple of decades can. We were among the privileged few who suffered under the tutelage of Roger Stevenson, for which we are forever grateful.
I say suffered, but we willingly underwent the hours, months and years of exacting rehearsals because the pleasure of singing with such a group and being national champions - three years in a row - was worth giving up whatever we had planned for our lunchtimes, after school and evenings. We sang a variety songs such as Randy Newman's Dayton, Ohio, Drake & Oakland's Java Jive, Jacques Arcadelt's Now Spring in All Her Glory and Knut Nystedt's sublime and challenging Veni. As teenagers, we notched up a great deal toward the 10,000 hours it takes to become accomplished in any given field. And now some of us do indeed rank among the leaders of the global music world.
So it's understandable that last week, those of us who could jumped at the opportunity to relive some of our fondest memories, coming from around New Zealand, as well as Australia and England, to once again blend our voices and help raise funds for our old school's auditorium. It's quite the wake up call to walk out of a shiny new auditorium for the last time, then walk into it again years later. We hope the footsteps and knocks of life have been kinder to us than to this building, which still echoes with our voices if we take time to listen.
But why am I blogging a massive nostalgia-fest about singing when I'm usually all about photography? Because it's Throwback Thursday. And because of the photos. My Facebook pages (both business and personal) exploded with photos from our youth as we reacquainted ourselves with almost-familiar faces.
The banner photo for this post is of the First Fifteen Choir, not to be confused with the 1st XV Rugby team (a controversial article in the school newspaper once stated we had "two First Fifteens. One always won and the other always lost.") We're all sorts of smiles and happiness because we'd just won The Music Federation of New Zealand Inc.'s Westpac School Music Contest National Finals. For five of us it was the third year - a hat trick, if you will.
The newspaper article shows the First Fifteen from the previous year, with a different makeup of members, who are also shown in the photo below it.
We take photos because we want to remember. We have our own portraits made because we want to "exist in photos". And we sing because it's cooler than bowties.