The Cleveland Orchestra Children's Choir

Singing In Cleveland

I very mischievously used to sing in the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Choir at the venerable Severance Hall when I was in the 5th grade. We did a run of Christmas concerts during the holidays (in 1985 yo) and a couple other events, but the Christmas shows were a BIG DEAL. We even had matinees on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as the night shows. It was pretty rigorous for a 5th grader now that I think about it!  

Singing Christmas songs at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra seems like it was all a dream all these years later. Listening to The National's song Bloodbuzz Ohio sung by a choir brought back memories of singing in a choir myself. It was fun! I got to work with a world class conductor -- Robert Page -- who really cared so deeply about his craft. In the process of writing this entry, I just learned he died last year at 89. Rest In Glory-filled Music, Mr. Page. 

Photo courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra Archives

Flashbacks

My favorite new friend in the choir (Angie) was a little older and quite a bit taller than I was. When it came time for us to be assigned our performance row placement on stage, I stood on my tiptoes during rehearsals so I appeared taller and I got assigned to her row for the performances. One of the concerts was on television back in the day and my Dad had originally recorded it on a VCR tape, then actually made it into a DVD! Perhaps one day I will add it to the ol' 'Tube. I literally cannot remember the last time I watched it, but there is a noticeable dip in my row where my short self was standing singing next to Angie. I have memories of laughing so hard on stage with her, the kind of trying-to-be-secret-belly-laughing because laughing on stage during classical music performances in world classconcert halls was not exactly tolerated! 

I also have a memory of having a crush on the super cute French horn player named Eric Ruske. I just learned he was only 20 at the time we did those performances "together" which makes sense because I remember the crush being partially based on him having slightly longer (blond) hair. I thought that it was cool he was in the orchestra AND looked sorta like a hippy. In a tux. 

So yeah, all this from hearing this National song sung by a choir. Truly grateful to be triggered into recalling this memorable time of life. 

The Rainbow Connection

Oh just to sweeten this old pot, I'll throw in another memory: It's the song I auditioned with to get into the choir. Yep, none other than The friggin Rainbow Connection. I rehearsed it over and over and over. I *may* even be able to remember a lot of the words...

All these years later, "Some day we'll find it..." still lookin'! Haha