I have been very fortunate this month. While I didn't get a job teaching English, I have been given lots of gigging work by my friend Tito. It is really great because this month I am getting lots of work from him and I couldn't be more grateful.
Today was quite the adventure. I had a wake to play at and I unfortunately didn't get there on time. I got up nice and early this morning to practice a bit before heading out to make a copy of the book of music that Jorge (the violinist I played with today) gave me to look at. He so kindly came over to our apartment last night after I got back from choir practice. (There is more to come about that in a bit.) We went over some music that I had and he left me his book of 300 pages of Peruvian songs and popular songs.
After waiting for half an hour I decided to take a taxi to La Molina. I didn't want to risk being late. I explained exactly where I needed to go to the taxi driver and he said he knew where it was. Wrong. We spent a good 20 minutes driving around La Molina looking for Avenida la Universidad and Calle Retama. After many calls to Jorge we finally met up and walked into the wake at 10 minutes past 1pm. Fortunately, the kind sir who was in charge of the event was very nice and served us water and sandwiches. I paid 30 soles for the cab though. Oh well, lesson learned.
We played for 2 hours straight. I sight read practically everything! It was great practice and fortunately, I did a decent job. Three people came up to us and asked us if we had cards. I gave out all the ones I had on me. I realize that I have a lot of work to do practicing songs that are well known here. We had quite a few requests and Jorge had to play because I didn't know any of them. Phew.
In the end it was a successful gig. We didn't have much in the way of duets but Jorge was great at playing an octave above me. I think I am going to enjoy playing weddings and bridal showers much more than funerals. What funeral is fun? I also have noticed that it is much more common to see people who are very dramatic in their way of expressing their sorrow. It's completely understandable but it still takes me aback when a señora starts wailing. I guess it is just customary to be more reserved in the way we grieve at funerals and wakes in the States. No one should hold back their emotions though. I think showing more emotion could be a good thing as a whole for people in the States.
I am not just playing gigs these days. I am also singing in a choir for a friend who I met during my Kodaly class at the Suzuki Festival. She is a student at the National Conservatory here in Lima and she has her thesis to present in March. She is directing a 20 person choir and 15 person orchestra. We are singing Vivaldi's Kyrie. It has a ton of 16th notes in it and it was quite a piece to sight read. We have time. There will be practice on Mondays. I am so excited to be singing in a choir again. I haven't sung in a traditional choir since high school. It felt good to be using my diaphragm to it's full extent.
I am also excited because there is a possibility that I might join an actual women's choir that does gigging. The one mentioned above is only for the presentation of Mayeli's thesis. This one, however, would be a professional choir. I am going to see them perform this Monday and get introduced to the ladies. I hope it all goes well!
Other than all this fun musical activity, I am slowly but surely getting things done for the wedding. It is 8 and a half months away but I have to get save the dates out soon and get the website all ready to go. I need to have hotel and tour information and cost estimates for people. I am beyond excited to actually be doing all of it. I never thought too much of my dream wedding when I was a little girl like many do. However, now that I am actually in the process of planning one, I am getting more and more excited. I think the realness of it is sinking in now. I also can't wait to have my friends and family in Peru! They are going to have a blast!