Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Messiah Performance

This annual gift to the community, now in its 23rd year, is presented in cooperation with the Holladay City Interfaith Council.

Under the direction of Jack Ashton, well-known local musician, teacher and former music department chair at Olympus High School, and Sonja Sperling, graduate of Gothe University in Frankfurt, Germany and current Doctoral of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Utah, over 200 singers and instrumentalists will perform this music in the Olympus High School Performing Arts Center this Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The concert is free, a gift to the community.

Soloists will include Scott Miller, tenor, a longtime Holladay resident and frequent soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Jayne Springman, harpsichordist, a teacher of choral music and dance for 20 years in the Granite School District, including Olympus Junior High School; and Judd Sheranian, bass, a violinist with the Utah Symphony who has degrees in both violin and vocal performance. Judd has been a frequent guest soloist with Jubilate over the years.

Robert Comstock, a tenor/baritone with Jubilate and the St. Vincent Schola Cantorum will also perform several Christmas songs in the foyer of the Performing Arts Center as a prelude to the concert. He has a beautiful voice so be there at 6:45 to hear him.

Here's a picture of the new Olympus High School Performing Arts Center:

Pre-Dress Rehearsal?

Concert time is near and last night we had a "pre-dress" rehearsal. Instead of singing in our usual places, we sang under the dome where the acoustics are wonderful. Mt. Tabor is the church "in the round" in Salt Lake City. The current structure was dedicated in 1965 and is a familiar landmark in the downtown area.

Below, you can see two images of the inside of the dome:

The sound is remarkable and Jubilate's choir of 20 singers fits perfectly. The altar is removable and that's a good thing since we're hosting a children's choir of 33 kids and the St. Vincent Schola Cantorum of 10 singers.

I predict that half of the real dress rehearsal will be given over to logistics! The choirs will be performing separately for most of the concert but will sing at least four numbers together. Jubilate uses music stands in concert and the Schola will also use stands so those add more "stuff" to be shuffled around.

I'll do another post after the dress rehearsal and we'll see if my prediction is spot on!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shhh...The Cat's Asleep!

Jubilate is a 'dynamic' choir according to our director, meaning that we have a wide range of dynamic expression. He wants SUCH a wide range that when we sing pianissimo, he doesn't want the mouse to wake the cat.

Whoever said that singing in a choir relieves stress?!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Remember Pig Latin?

How about Moose Latin?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mentoring Young Choristers

Each year Jubilate has the good fortune to act as mentor for a school choir or choirs in the Salt Lake City area. As members of Jubilate, we feel a keen responsibility to provide concert opportunities for these students and to illustrate that fun in a choir doesn't have to end upon receiving that diploma!

This year, we are combining forces with the Children's Choir of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic school for two Christmas concerts. St. Vincent parish has many musical opportunities, including the Children's  Choir, Parish Choir, Schola Cantorum, Bell Choir, and Folk Choir.

On Saturday, December 6th, Jubilate, the St. Vincent Schola Cantorum, and the St. Vincent Children's Choir will perform a Christmas concert at Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church at 7:00 p.m.

Then on Sunday, December 7th, the three choirs will host another Christmas concert at St. Vincent de Paul.

Both concerts are free. If you wish to make a donation, it will go to the Utah Food Bank for those in need during this holiday time.

Four of Jubilate's singers also belong to the Schola Cantorum, including moi. The logistics of singing in two different choirs during one concert are interesting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Some Barron Collier Students and Parents Are Considering Boycotts

I'm passionate about young people singing in choirs and especially school choirs. This is where they learn an avocation that can stay with them throughout their lives and significantly enrich them. Jubilate works with a school choir nearly every year because, as a group, we are also passionate about sharing this love of music with them and showing that performing choral music does not have to end with high school and college.

I'm invested in the Barron Collier fight even though the school is across the country from my home.

As a response to one parent getting the ACLU involved over the Barron Collier High School choir performing at Moorings Presbyterian Church, the district has decided to have one November performance at Moorings and one at Gulf Coast High School. (Barron Collier High auditorium is far too small for the choir and audience).

For background, you can read older posts on this subject here, here, and here.

A few parents and students are considering boycotting the performance at Gulf Coast High School in protest. I can't say I agree with this tactic. It penalizes the other kids who do perform. Unless everyone boycotts the performance it is unlikely to do much good.

I WOULD vote for an entirely new school board come next election.

The current board has been remiss in not retaining counsel even though it has been offered pro-bono and has not done due diligence in researching the issue prior to responding to ACLU. This is a MAJOR misstep. The board's decision to split the concerts, one at a secular building and one at a church building may be setting up the district for the very thing it is seeking to avoid, a lawsuit concerning separation of church and state.

Will this school board wake up and retain legal counsel? Can the board and the individuals comprising the board be sued for failure to do so? These are the questions I would be asking as parents of the kids in the Barron Collier choirs. Forget boycotting. Go to the mattresses!

Madeleine Choir School in Rome

The children of the Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School from Salt Lake City are in Rome currently. They performed there on Saturday, November 15th, 2014.

"Eighty drenched Utah schoolchildren sprinted across the flooded Piazza del Gesù under sheets of heavy rain and flashes of lightning Saturday night, then dashed up the steps of one of Rome's most magnificent edifices to perform a late-evening concert."

Jan Maria Michelini, a young Italian film director and composer, heard the choir sing. What impressed Michelini was “the purity of the voices of the boys and the girls - the youngsters - how clean their voices are and how they take it seriously, and how they love it really much. I found great dignity in their way of just moving and rehearsing.”

Here's a video of the choir at the Cathedral in 2013.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Handel's 'Messiah'

I was approached about singing in a production of "Messiah" to be performed the 29th of this month. I said yes because it's been about five years since I've sung this and it's a fun opportunity plus I only have to do one rehearsal, the dress, and the performance. But now I'm feeling a little overextended. This will make three concerts in a two week time period with the possibility of a fourth. Jubilate has been asked to participate in the Dickens Festival at Thanksgiving Point. I doubt we'll be doing it since it's very late to make more plans, but you never know!

Time for a little yoga...calm, calm, no stress.