With the news that the outcome of this year’s Band in Concert had been entrusted to myself, Princess Chappell and Ekow Bentsi-Enchill filled me with sheer excitement for what the months to follow had in store for me.
I saw this privilege as an opportunity to immerse myself in music, which is so dear to me.
As the months wore on, I began to forget why I had accepted the responsibility with such glee. There were so many moving parts to keep a pulse on, I truly felt like I was juggling countless glass plates.
I was learning and teaching backup vocals for all the songs that required them. Of course I also was tasked with leading time management techniques for school band members, and myself to successfully prioritize the concert for a short period before the 17th of February!
I was truly left scraping together just enough time to stay afloat and awake in my classes.
With the performance day looming ahead, rehearsals became more and more intense, but spirits remained high and we were all hoping for the best, but the beast of insecurity – true to itself – crept in at the last minute, when all we had left to do was wait for 7pm that Saturday evening.
Before I knew it, the time had come, and we were mounting the stage. We were greeted by the harsh floodlights that illuminated our blue outfits, and allowed for absolute scrutiny of our every move. To my amazement, once we started with “I Stand Amazed” by Sinach, performed by Maama Eduardo Benyi and Essi Kantamanto-Koomson, our nerves calmed to a peaceful rest, and the other songs flew by. In no time at all, the event was over.
Despite the fleeting nature of the event, I still remember the thrill of showcasing our hard work to friends and families. Although I must admit to glowing with pride after every congratulatory wish we received, not a single one of them could match up to the feeling of accomplishment that filled me after our final song – Osibisa’s “Coffee Song” performed by Nii Addo Quaynor. At that moment, I was confident that we had done our best.
Interestingly, as I sang my father’s calm voice incessantly reminded me, “Lift up your chin, just a slight tilt can make a difference.” And I believe it did. Today, with the stage disassembled and my new blue dress crumpled somewhere in my laundry basket, I am glad to say I have emerged from this experience with my chin infinitesimally- yet significantly – higher than it was in October. I am thankful for the stress because it made me more resilient, for the setbacks because they helped me hone my problem-solving skills, and for my support system (God, co-Band heads friends and parents) for helping me hold my chin up in the face of it all.
by: Baaba Bentsi-Enchill