Thursday, July 22, 2010

thoughts while waiting for peppermint ice cream cake

My singing has been going fairly well...lots of rehearsals, a few performances. I still get way too nervous for not enough reason.

New development: I tried a belting song (Jason Robert Brown's "Stars and the Moon" from Songs for a New World) last week on L________ Opera's "Broadway Night" for their Summer Concert Series. i know, I know...I can already see (and hear) some of you. But, as you can hopefully tell, I do not often sing this way. It was partly a development of the song choice and the ring (or lack thereof) of the room I was singing in - there was TONS of ambient noise from the street cars and fans everywhere to cool things off. Ah well. I heard the recording of it, and was somewhat surprised that it sounded better than I expected. But, I do NOT plan on making a habit of it. It did not feel great at times, and I really don't think it's as necessary as some Broadway proponents make it out to be. Sometimes it's fun as an effect, but I'm still figuring it out.

Also, we have finally begun rehearsing the Copland "In the Beginning" with C_______. Tuesday night was the first time I got to sing with the group and start putting it all together, and it was HARD...the choral members were way confused, and wouldn't come in at the right times...it's a difficult piece. I just kept going at times, figuring the director would let me know if something needed to change. This group is a little hard because the level of musicianship is a little below what I expected, so I'm trying to adjust my expectations while keeping a high level myself. What's really neat about C_______ is it's a collaborative ensemble, with the director facilitating these group works that challenge the ensemble members. From what I can tell, the people in this group (which is mostly young people to middle aged) are not the ones who majored in music in college...they are the ones who were in the ensembles as a hobby, or used to be the main players, but it's been years since they've really performed. The director does a fantastic job of making this fairly difficult music very accessible to them in regards to terminology and expression.

This relates really well to my philosophical music education classes that delve into why music education is the way it is in our country now - mainly because in deciding to teach music with a more aesthetic focus, the culture of music in our day-to-day lives was lost. People began to view music as something for "the gifted", not as a music of the people. A group like this gives everyone an opportunity to make music, and not with just any music, but really good music that has "stood the test of time" as one of my professors says with regularity.

I have to confess, I had been rather frustrated with this group until I saw it in this light. I hope I can contribute without being an elitist as well. It is such a great endeavor for this director to be pursuing.

One side note with C___________...when I started singing this past rehearsal, I wasn't nervous at all. It's just silly the things I am nervous for, and the things I'm not. I wish I could figure it out.

Also, I am not singing the Mozart "Laudaute Dominum" solo in choral lab class...but they do have me singing a Schubert "Kyrie" solo...which is a high tessitura and makes me much more nervous that any Copland would. Even though it's about 30 seconds long compared to 20 minutes. See what I mean?

Well, it's my 28th birthday, so I should go enjoy life. My mom is making me a peppermint ice cream cake as I type. Mmmmmmm. Life is pretty good.



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