Blogging Break is Over! @JennyHatch

I decided to take a blogging break a few weeks ago and was planning to continue on into the fall so I could focus on spending quality time with my kiddos who are home for the summer.  But they are busy working all the time and I am sorta bored.

The blog break has been a welcome time to slow down and focus on other projects.  I revved our Wards Youth Choir back up because the kids said they missed it.  

I was so thrilled by this unexpected development that I pitched the idea of doing the insta-choir model at the stake level to our Stake President and he said yes! So this Sunday we are having our first rehearsal at the stake center.

Basically I used the fluid and flexible model I developed directing the Neil Simon Players to my music calling at church.

As a professional performing group, the goal was to always have something prepared and ready to go so if we were called upon to perform around town we just whipped out whatever we were working on and shared it with our audience.  

The weekly rehearsal was fixed at the same time every week, but not mandatory, and the singers had a variety of solos, duets, and ensemble numbers ready to share with those who hired us.

Sometimes I did a gig with just one performer, if that was what the person booking wanted, and for larger more substantial events – like the Happy Factory Gala Fundraiser and the Honor Flight – we shared hours of entertainment.

The Veterans who attended Cedar City Honor Flight 2015 were delayed for hours and by the time they arrived at midnight, I had sent all of my singers home and was designated soloist for God Bless America. I gave it my best shot but was weary after hours of stage managing our crew. You can see my oxygen concentrator on the table next to me. I do not like to supplement oxygen while I am performing, but I was feeling quite wobbly. Thankfully, when I started to bawl, those wonderful Cedar City Patriots joined in as we serenaded our beloved men and women off the bus. It was a glorious night. And one of my all time favorite performances!

The insta model really worked well for our performers as most of them were involved with school, class, studying, rehearsals for other shows, and work. The flexibility was key.

I simply wanted to create a framework for them to earn a few dollars working their craft and the festival upped its visibility significantly in our community with so many talented performers working for us part time. Many of them went on to act in our Summer Company.

With the church choirs my goal was to have our ward come together around music in a geographic region that goes almost up to Estes Park and out fully into western Longmont.  It is a huge mountainous boundary and we found it nearly impossible to gather for choir practice because so few singers wanted to drive all the way up to the church in Lyons for practice after settling at home with their children after Sunday church services.

I simplified things even more this year by chosing the songs for the next four months and getting the dates for performances into the weekly announcement email.

It is now up to individuals and families to mostly rehearse familiar hymns at home and then do a quickie fifteen minute run through before Sacrament Meeting.

This past Sunday I was not able to attend because of illness, and guess what?

Even I as the choir director am completely irrelevant to the song being performed well. Paul was in a meeting, so he just popped in to see who showed up to practice, explained that neither he nor I would be available to run the rehearsal and the accompanist and those who showed up were able to quickly pull it together and our ward was blessed with a beautiful rendition of I need Thee Every Hour during Sacrament Meeting.

Paul said a few more people joined the choir during Sacrament Meeting who had not even rehearsed ahead of time, and it was lovely. This is exactly the model I was going for when I wrote down what the goals were for Insta Choir.

For the Stake Model I have chosen four hymns and one primary song for us to rehearse for the next four months.  Just one ninety minute rehearsal a month and we will be sharing these songs as the fifteen minutes of prelude before Stake Conference in September and one song during the meeting.

I called it a Family Choir and hope lots of young families will come out to sing with their little ones.

My health has been so significantly worse these past few months, I have deep doubts about being able to direct, but thankfully my husband has served as choir director and he will provide backup.

Gradually healing – April 2019

The eye infection I suffered with in 2016 came back last March and I have had months of painful recovery from that and now am on oxygen supplementation 24/7 because of horrifying hypoxia and low energy.

But working on my music, setting up these choirs, and focusing on positive things has been therapeutic.

Because I took a significant break from blogging and making movies I had huge blocks of time to fill while recovering from this recent illness. Reading helped.

I discovered Maeve Binchy and read five of her novels. I am reluctant to give any contemporary novelist a go because they are all so degenerate. But finding her books on Overdrive at our public library was a real joy.

I also have spent hours listening to audio books. This was particularly important while my eyes were so badly infected. The Book of Mormon is my all time favorite, but I also listened to Lucy Mack Smiths biography of Joseph and a couple other books.

I am loathe to talk about my children and our grandchild because they do not want to be connected to my politics and activism, but my happiest moments these past few months have centered around wonderful FaceTime chats with these beautiful people. And in person chats with my 16 year old and his older brother who is home for summer break.

I adore my family.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jenny Hatch

Hatch Fam at the Nauvoo Temple 2003

I crafted this movie the year we began Insta Choir!

Healthy Families Make A Healthy World!

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