The time was summer 1996. The musical
was The Great Artrageous Adventure
, a show Mt. Pisgah
's youth choir
had taken on tour to Atlanta
two weeks before the Summer Olympics
, featuring music from Steven Curtis Chapman
's 1990 album The Great Adventure
. I had just started my choral arranging career by writing in a bass
line to many of the songs; the written baritone
line (shared between bass and tenor
in an SATB
choir such as ours) was too high for high school bass
es who had not yet recovered their high range from the jaws of puberty
Our second home performance was three or four nights after we returned from Atlanta (the first had been two days earlier). As we stood in the church's old fellowship hall, our director asked if we had any concerns before our pre-show prayer.
Lisa raised her hand haltingly. She had just finished her freshman year in high school at the time, and was acknowledged as one of the most attractive girls any of us in the group knew, spanning five to six high schools in the Richmond area. A great dancer (she choreographed most of our musicals for 6 years), a strong soprano singer, with long blond hair, and yet she still had a personality that, unlike many girls so talented and attractive, didn't make you feel inferior standing around her.
She wasn't smiling at this moment, though -- more like shaking.
"One of my best friends -- yesterday, her father had a heart attack -- at the kitchen table at their house -- and died -- so, I'd just like everyone to pray for her family, that they can get through this..."
When the show reached Still Called Today, about halfway through, I sang my solo from the stage right raised platform, opposite the other soloist on the stage left platform. Lisa was on the right end front row, but my platform was offset far enough from the main body of the group that I could see her. When we came to the song's bridge, I watched her sing and do choreography to these words, with tears streaming down her face:
"'Cause there's a time when the sun goes down
And the flowers are laid on the grave
Will the tears that fall to the ground
Be the tears of regret
For the words someone did not say?"