My memory finally kicked back into gear after a few hours of practice, and yesterday's High Holiday rehearsal was quick and great--and felt like last September had been last week, no passage of time at all. It was just myself, the flutist, and a new keyboard player; the oud player was sick and the cantor had other, more important things to do (his wife gave birth to a girl in the morning!). We were in the synagogue, although I won't necessarily be there once the schedule is sorted out. The keyboard player from last year, and many previous, was the cantor's very handsome brother, more about whom I'll write later. This year he'll be at the new synagogue of our former rabbinic fellow, where he may stay permanently. Which is a marvelous opportunity, but I'll miss his steady, calm presence in the band.
The guy taking his place is terrific, however. We went through everything, non-stop, in about an hour (it takes at least twice as long in reality, what with all the talking and praying). Although I hadn't warmed up properly and lost my voice at the end, I barely stumbled. It was, dare I say, almost anticlimactic to sing those thousands of words with such relative ease after so many hours of preparation, angst, and pages of this blog...but only in the sense of a lack of anticipated nerves. It's now really part of me, and I can concentrate on what I'm saying instead of my ability to say it. And this will create a whole new kind of wonderful anticipation.