Yesterday was such an incredible day! The main event was, of course, stake conference. After two months of planning, preparing, and practicing, the time arrived yesterday for the stake choir to sing two musical numbers at stake conference, under my direction. I don't know how many of you have seen (and would remember) my blog post from back in November when we had our last stake conference (http://rel-myers.com/blog/2011/11/campuses-cousins-cooking-conferences-and-choirs/), but let me just say that I could copy the last paragraph from that post almost word-for-word into this post and convey my feelings from yesterday quite adequately. :) The only big differences would be that this time there was no co-chair (until right at the very end, so he didn't have the chance to do much), I conducted both numbers, and one of them was my own arrangement!
This stake conference was more stressful for me than the last one. I think it was a combination of losing my co-chair and not getting a replacement, having to re-coordinate accompanists, and trying to make my arrangement work when I didn't know whether it was even possible (it's one thing to put together a performance of a song you've heard before and know that it will work and sound good; it's quite another to attempt the same feat with something you wrote and therefore have no idea how it will sound when the finished product arrives!). So I entered the flurry of activity yesterday with a great deal of fear and concern. I shouldn't have worried. As with November, everything basically just fell into place. The final practice went well, and soon it was time for stake conference to begin. The choir sang my arrangement of "Carry On," and let me tell you---conducting that number and hearing it come to life exactly as I had heard it in my head all along was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced. It basically took the entire first half of the session before I could completely calm down! Then the choir sang Mack Wilberg's arrangement of "The Lord is My Shepherd" as the closing song. It too went more wonderfully than I could have possibly hoped or imagined, and I was thrilled! And I had so many people come up to me afterward to compliment me on my work in putting it all together. What an amazing experience it has been for me to be a part of that. I'm so grateful that the Lord gave me that opportunity.