Thank you so much to those who were praying for us on Saturday. It meant so much to us and we could feel your prayers because the peace of God was truly upon us. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but I think that's alright, because the time didn't really present itself for pictures. We were either rehearsing or performing and there wasn't much time in between. Plus, I never really felt like there was an appropriate moment to say, "Hey, can we get a picture with you?" It just didn't feel right!
And now for the recap...
Upon our arrival to the Chicago Hilton and Towers, we were directed to the International Ballroom which seats approximately 3,000 people. There were that many chairs set up. It was overwhelming, to say the least. I think the first words out of my mouth were, "Oh yeah. This is no big deal." Ha! There were huge screens on both sides of the mainstage and the sound technicians were setting up our stage, which was a smaller one in the corner. We were directed to the green room by the AMA's creative director where there was a huge and beautiful spread of food (my word, who could even think about eating at a time like this????), and we were shown where we could change and get ready.
When Rod, Alfreda, their pianist and string players arrived, we talked briefly about the set of music and then we began rehearsing. We didn't have as much time as we'd like to practice, because the president of the AMA was needing to run through his speech, but it was enough to get us through all the music. Rod and Alfreda were meticulous in the sound check, making sure everyone was heard, even in the very back row. Did I mention this place was huge? I especially appreciated each and every time he pointed to us and our microphones and told the sound person to crank us up. He genuinely cared about every person up on that stage being heard.
After rehearsal, we were able to sit and talk with them and we were pleasantly surprised, even from the moment we first began rehearsing, to find out that they are the warmest, most genuine (and passionate) people. A highlight for Jerry and I (and one of our prayer requests) was getting to sit and enjoy a long conversation with them. Both of us gleaned so much from their expertise, their love of music, and their heart for the Lord.
During the actual performance, I kept having to pinch myself, thanking the Lord for the opportunity to sing such beautiful music with all the talented people up on that stage. The final song we did was commissioned for the AMA and was entitled "What's in Front of Me." You can follow the link to learn more about it and listen to it. It is also on i-tunes for any who might be interested in purchasing it. Rod blew that thing out of the water and at the end, the entire place erupted and all in attendance were on their feet.
It looks as though this might open a few doors for us in the future, such as performing with the choir at next season's performance of Too Hot to Handel, both in Chicago and Detroit.
It was an amazing, mountain top experience. We had a ball and we felt so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to sing alongside these wonderful people.
Thank you to all who were praying for us. And thank you, Lord, for such an awesome experience!