Friday, December 19, 2014

ChoralNet Question About Choirs Streaming Music

Over on one of the ChoralNet forums, a question was asked "Do you allow your music to be streamed?"

The question has not yet been clarified, but I'd like to address why I haven't included any videos or audio of Jubilate in this blog. I have footage of Jubilate from news clips, recordings, and various amateur filming, but have not and probably will not stream them on here or on my YouTube channel.

Jubilate is not my choir. I am a member of Jubilate but not the director. Ultimately, I think it is the director's call about what to share on the web as far as the product goes. Every director wants the world to see and hear only the best of what their choir has to offer no matter what type of choir they are.

However, all choirs are not alike in this respect. Many vidoes on places like YouTube are filmed by amateurs with things like smartphones, etc. I think this is wonderful for some choirs such as schools, etc. Parents and grandparents are proud of their offspring (rightfully so!) and want to share with the world. I recently posted a video of my grandson's high school choir and did not ask permission of the director, mainly because there were already many videos of various groups at the high school on YouTube already. I felt comfortable sharing this.

That is light years away from sharing a recording of Jubilate. We do record many of our concerts. We have professionals who do the lighting and the sound and who edit the finished product. We've also recorded in studios but our director prefers the sound of live recordings so we mainly do those. Most of the recordings are made for him to review and are not for sale. They help us to become better at what we do and, while not under copyright, I still view as "protected." I have access to some of them since I was a board member for many years, but would not use them on the web without permission. And I definitely would not use amateur footage of us. Noises in the audience that you cannot control, bad lighting, bad sound, yuk, the list goes on and on.

On the other hand, I sometimes think Jubilate is still living in the 90's and that we should have a YouTube channel, a better presence on the web, and make more of an effort to sell recordings, but our director has a different take on the subject and I have to respect that.

I may not be entirely happy with it, but I'll blog within the boundaries that he has set.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Excellent Classical Choral Albums For December 2014

If you're looking for a last minute gift for your choral musician (or for yourself!), here's a list of a few of the top albums on the charts right now:

Serenata by Alfie Boe  is #2. I know, I know, it's not a choral album, but since the Alf (not the Elf although he is amazingly elf-like) is only three degrees from me, I'm listing it here anyway.

The John Rutter Songbook is #4. Well, there MUST be a Rutter album listed here, right? Is there a chorister alive who doesn't enjoy singing his music?

There are three Kings College albums listed, Essential Carols #10, Carols From Kings College Cambridge #11, and Favorite Carols From Kings #14.

The Christmas Album by Libera is #35. Libera is a boy's band (choir) made up of 24 boys from the south of London. Formed in 1999, it has gained worldwide attention and served as backing singers to Elton John, Bj√∂rk and Pavarotti. This is their first Christmas album and it is going in my collection. *If you have Amazon Prime, you can add the album to your library for FREE.*

Nothing Like Hitting the "Publish" Button Without a Title!

This has been the busiest Christmas season in many, many years for me. I thought that by this week, things would be settled down until Christmas Eve, but nope. A few of my choral friends sing in the Salt Lake Choral Artists with Brady Allred. (Under the auspices of the University of Utah choral department). So, their concert is this weekend and I really want to go but I also have a Solstice party, dinner with friends, regular mass on Sunday and my son is coming over on Friday to help me put together a recumbent bike that I bought. Then, another rehearsal on Tuesday and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Whew.

I'm really thankful for Amazon this year since it has meant that I don't need to do any dreaded mall shopping. I hate, hate, hate going to any shopping mall. It's just not my idea of fun. Most of my family's Christmas is done, I've mailed packages to my two daughters who live in Maryland and everything is ready for Christmas day.

Anyway, here's the info for the SLCA concert:

"O Magnum Mysterium"

Friday & Saturday, December 19 & 20, 2014
7:30 pm
St Ambrose Catholic Church
2315 Redondo Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

$20 per ticket
$10 per student with ID

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Short Video of Harrison's Christmas Concert

I attended my grandson's Christmas concert tonight and forgot my camera and tripod, so this video was shot with my smartphone. It's a little wiggly and the sound doesn't do justice to the choir, but I'm still pleased to have filmed this.

The Hunter High School Concert Choir of 2014 singing an a capella rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Alamire the Spy

I've wanted to write about this since last October, but, well, Christmas is coming and there were so many other things that took precedence. But concert time is over and this story is amazing, so here it is if you haven't heard about it:

Petrus Alamire, from Bavaria, was a man of many talents, among them a composer and a diplomat. During his time, musicians wandered from court to court in Europe and were never really suspected of espionage, so it was easy for them to act as spies. Alamire composed a book of songs for Henry VIII. This manuscript, a book of 34 religious songs, was given to Henry VIII as a lavish gift from a French diplomat in his early reign.

The manuscript was recently unearthed in the vaults of the British Library.

Dr David Skinner, a Cambridge fellow, has now examined the manuscript to bring the music back to life with an ensemble choir featuring nine singers and period instruments. The choir is called "Alamire" and the recording is now available for sale under the name The Spy's Choirbook. It has since gone in at number two in the classical album charts.

I found this whole story fascinating. Imagine, finding a manuscript of songs written by a spy for King Henry VIII and his wife, Katharine, and then actually recording them today!

Dr. Skinner has a channel on YouTube if you'd like to hear more about this.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hunter High School Concert Choir

My grandson with the Hunter High School Concert Choir at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. He's the tall one in back with his name over his head. Oh, the wonders of photoshop!

Friday, December 12, 2014

They Did It!

Looks like they did sing at Moorings last night!  Here's a great picture of the concert.

More on Barron-Collier

Yes, I'm still following this. This same issue caused such a ruckus in Salt Lake City with West High School, but it was settled through the courts. I don't understand why the Barron-Collier school district is so worried about  a lawsuit from ACLU.

Point #1: The district has been offered pro bono counsel from a prominent law firm that routinely deals with ACLU. There would be no financial loss to the district.

Point #2:  This issue has been settled by the highest court in the land. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is OK for a school to use a religious facility (building) in certain instances. One of these instances has specifically been spelled out - the use of a religious facility for school concerts if the facility is used due to better acoustics, more space, etc.

(If you would like to follow links to read the decision, etc., please go to my other recent posts on this subject. I don't feel like posting them again.)

The Barron-Collier choir was supposed to sing at Moorings Presbyterian Church last night but I could not find any news articles on whether or not that happened.

It seems the school board is more interested in deciding if a student can opt out of a concert rather than face the real issue.  Salt Lake City now has a policy in place that states a student may opt out of a concert for religious reasons with no affect on grades and that the opt out is routinely granted.  Why is that such a big deal? Can't Barron-Collier do the same?

The students at BC are trying to form a choir club so that they can sing at Moorings under that guise rather than as a graded concert. Why in the world would they need to resort to that when the issue has been SETTLED?

I really don't understand what this school board is doing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Opportunity

It looks like I'll be singing again on Sunday. Due to some kind of mix up at First Presbyterian, they are down some singers for the annual Lessons and Carols this weekend. Jubilate is a friend of First Pres and we frequently use it as a venue. Great acoustics! Anyway, their music director has asked us to come and supplement their choir, so those of us who are free this weekend will be there.

The service will be at 4:00 P.M. this Sunday the 14th. This is one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the Salt Lake Valley.