If anyone ever catches me considering a career switch to the United Nations or US embassy or some other such massive bureaucratic tangle, please slap me upside the head!
About two weeks ago, I received an email – a forward of a forward – asking for volunteer school choirs to come and sing for (get ready) the “opening ceremony of the 12th special session of the United Nations Environmental Program General Council.” Translation: hoopla.
I decided to stick my nose out and see what happened. Long story short, this morning I took about 40 singers to the UNEP headquarters just up the street. We (and about 60 students from 3 other local schools) sang one of Abba’s lamest songs ever (I Have a Dream) for about a thousand delegates and a couple of bigwigs (like the president of Kenya). It was about 8 hours worth of practice / sitting around, for about three minutes of singing. All of it organized very last minute and performed in a hall with fifty-foot ceilings and no acoustics – the kids couldn’t really be heard much anyway. Yuck.
On the other hand, do I regret taking them? No. Sometimes the life experience is more important than the musical moment. The kids felt like they were a part of something big. They got to sing for an audience other than their parents and peers. I got to strengthen relationships with some of my musician colleagues. And it was good PR for the school. So it was worth it.
Still, may my professional life be as bureaucracy-free as possible. And may vain hoopla be kept to a bare minimum.