This afternoon I rehearsed with a singer who has been a friend of mine for a long time, but we have never performed together before, at least that I can remember. We are putting a concert together in a few days that we will perform as part of a festival where we are both adjudicating and coaching. Sometimes first rehearsals are erribly unsettling for me as I need to figure out how people work and think about things, but today it was such a treat to simply make music together. While we had both performed most of the music chosen for the program on other occasions with other partners, it was surprising to me how little explanation was necessary. We simply checked tempi a few times and then the music happened almost without effort. There are precious few fringe benefits that come with aging, but for musicians, a few decades of accumulated experience can go a long way. Today, I simply savored the privilege of making great music in collaboration with a good friend.