Wednesday, July 28, 2004

And then there were three...

This was a sad, gut-wrenching night for the quartet.

On Sunday, I issued an e-mail to the other guys expressing my frustration with our glacial progress of late, and our lack of growth toward our previously stated musical goals. I stated that it was time we decided whether we want to be a serious musical ensemble, or just want to have fun singing together. If we decided the latter, I would need to find another outlet for my desire to perform and compete at a higher level.

Tonight I called the question. As a result of our conversation, three of us will be moving forward together, and looking for a new fourth to complete the ensemble. I feel like Beatrice Straight as the parapsychologist in Poltergeist, the morning after the first manifestation: "Marty won't be coming back."

This was not fun. In fact, it was extremely painful. Not nearly as painful as telling my daughter her mother had cancer, but agonizing nonetheless. I fully expected that the night would end with us either deciding to dissolve the quartet altogether, or with me making the unilateral determination not to continue. That it went in another direction is the right move for all concerned in the long run, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it tonight.

I had to watch a good friend walk away from something I know he loves, while knowing that I was largely responsible for pushing him to it. He did it with grace and good fellowship, and I applaud him for that. And I'm glad, I suppose, that if this is how it had to go, he made his own decision and no one was forced to the duty of asking him to resign. I still ache over it, though. It could have been worse — as I told the others, we could have achieved the same result with a lot more blood on the floor. I'm grateful that it didn't come to that.

The other three of us discussed our options and decided to move as swiftly as we can to identify a replacement. We came up with two possibilities that might work. We'll contact both men on Thursday to see whether they are interested in auditioning for the vacancy. If so, we'll set up the interviews for two weeks from tonight, and see what happens.

Meanwhile, I need to find a way to salvage a friendship. I have too few to cavalierly toss one away.

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