The last concert....
Friday night I did something I have done many times- I sang a concert. I greeted members of the audience,congratulated my colleagues, and drove home. I took off my tux, put my studs and cuff links in the jewelry box, and dressed for bed.
Some years ago as I did that, I began to muse on how often most men wear a tuxedo. Maybe two or three times-the senior prom, their wedding, weddings of friends and family. But it is something I do several times a year. I actually have something of a
ritual. I take the tux to the cleaners, so I won't have to think about it next time. I put the score back on the shelf. I make a folder for the program, reviews, etc. and put it in the "Performances" file cabinet drawer.
As I thought about singing concerts, though, it occurred to me that one day I will do
it for the last time. One last time I will greet the audience, congratulate my
colleagues, drive home, and take off my tux. Will I know it's the last time? If I do, will it make a difference in how I sing? Will I be a weepy mess, or will I give the performance of a lifetime?
At that moment I softly voiced a prayer that I would not live to see the day when I wasn't singing. Of course,that would mean that I will die with SOMETHING left unsung. But perhaps that is for the best. I have known singers who stopped singing with many years left in their lives. True, they found satisfaction in other things. They taught,traveled, spent time with hobbies they had neglected during their singing
careers. They enjoyed time with their children and grandchildren, making up for
But I want to sing. I want to sing until the end. Let me die onstage just like Leonard Warren, and I will die happy. I would die doing what I love to do.
If I do get to choose the time and place of my "last concert", I imagine it will be at my church. I will close with "Give me Jesus"...
"Oh when I come to die, Give me Jesus..."
But God only knows...
I know how he feels.