Grab a cup of coffee, I had a busy weekend.

This weekend was Planina’s 20th reunion concert.  To back track a bit, I started singing with Planina, a group that sings songs from Eastern Europe, in January, right before my cancer diagnosis.  Now I could have quit and nobody would have thought less of me, but I really wanted to keep this for myself.  It had taken me a long time to find a group to sing with (the most singing I’ve been doing the last few years is to my children.  LOTS of Twinkle Twinkle.  I think I might even be able to sing it backwards.).  The members were very understanding and supportive even when I could only come to every other rehearsal and needed to use note cards during performances because my chemo addled brain had trouble remembering my own name, much less languages that I’m barely familiar with.  They brought me beautiful scarves to wear when I lost my hair.  I’ve learned so much since January.  My Balkan music learning curve has been pretty much vertical.  This weekend I got to meet the former members and hang out with the current ones as well.  The beauty of the music is only enhanced by the greater number of singers.  Just gorgeous.

On Friday night, at one of the parties/rehearsals, I met the wife of one of the former members.  She told me she loved my haircut and how bold it was.  My hair is coming in pretty nicely, but it’s still at the older Sinead stage.  When I mentioned it was actually growing in rather than cut off, she had said she never would have guessed.  She just thought I was European, maybe German.  I loved it.  It’s the first time I’ve really felt that I don’t look like a cancer patient.  Apparently I look European.  Hooray!

The concert was amazing.  So.  Much.  Fun.  Planina concerts are very audience participatory.  People sing along (You’d be amazed how many people know songs in Bulgarian!) and even dance in the aisles.  I sang Hajdutin in a trio.  It’s a beautifully sad song about a man’s last request of his love.  I also sang a duet on More Sokol Pie (Moray sohkohl peeyay).  Yeah, I pronounce it in English in my head, too.  Yes, I’d like my More Sokol Pie with whipped cream if you don’t mind…  I feel very proud and a little intimidated to have sung solos at this concert where there were so many experienced singers.   I had so much fun though.  Nothing is as gratifying as performing in front of a truly appreciative audience.  Thanks so much Planinas!

We’ll be performing again on Sunday, August 31st at 10:00 am at the Taste of Colorado.  See you there?