After a long day of cleaning out my desk in the graduate assistant office, I'm taking a respite in the gloriously air-conditioned (it's been a hot day) student center here at CU-Boulder. Later tonight I'm singing a gig (West Side Story choral selections) with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Michael Christie. Today is Michael's birthday, which makes him a Cancer (like my boyfriend), and he's turning 31.
31?! Why, yes, gentle reader, that happens to by MY AGE. On one hand, it's truly inspiring to see a another young conductor who's professional career has been wildly successful and is just getting hotter. On the other hand, I can't help wonder if I've just been coasting.
Granted, orchestral conductors tend to achieve maestro status a bit earlier than choral conductors (who generally only achieve this status post-mortem!) I've spent the past three years working on my DMA in choral conducting, full-time, with a graduate assistantship. This was a conscious choice, an academically-oriented career path. Sometimes I just like to imagine what life would be like if I'd made different choices.
For now, I'm still content being a grad student. Most of my "might-have-been's" come from the hard knowledge that my assistantship is finally over, and now the REAL doctoral work begins.
So long, tuition waver!
So long, monthly stipend!
So long, asbestos laden choral library office!
So long, being the choral program's indentured servant!
Hello, the rest of my life.