Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rehearsal Blessing

Missing one rehearsal may not seem like a big deal, especially if the music if familiar, but it is.  Not only do you miss the obvious, you also miss the camaraderie, the "singer high", and that wonderful warm feeling of contentment on the way home.

So I missed a lot last Monday and Tuesday nights.  In Jubilate, we used to end each rehearsal with the song, "Go Ye Now in Peace" by Joyce Eilers.  We must have sung that song for at least five years and it was the highlight of each week for me.  What a wonderful way to send us on our way back out into the world.  I'm not sure why we stopped singing it.  Maybe our director just got tired of it, but I never did.

I'm not a real religious person, but if you sing choral music, you have to have at least a spiritual component to your personality and mine is pretty strong.  Choral music began in the church and much of the repertoire is devoted to spiritual and religious themes.  "Go Ye Now in Peace" always left me feeling like someone was indeed watching over and protecting us all.

This season our director brought out Rutter's "Gaelic Blessing" and it feels much the same.  Maybe it will become our rehearsal ending and blessing for awhile.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Great Green Gobs

So, I missed Jubilate and Schola rehearsals this week and I missed mass on Sunday.  I'm laying in bed, coughing, blowing my nose, and alternately sleeping and whining. (Or as the English say, whinging.  I like that word, whinging. It just sounds so, well...whingy!)

Someone hand me another tissue!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Am I Going Dotty?

As some of you know, I enjoy all kinds of music even though I write mostly about my first love, choral music. I also like opera, rock, punk, and sometimes country.  (My stomach flipped just a wee bit as I wrote that last word, but oh, Johnny Cash)!

U2 just put out a new album and gave it away for free on iTunes and it has caused a LOT of controversy because it was downloaded to anyone with an iPhone, whether they asked for it or not.  Of course it could easily be deleted, but still, that was quite intrusive.  Bono has issued an apology.

BUT, U2 is my favorite band of all time, including the Beatles, Queen, and Led Zeppelin!  So even though I got the album free, I had to have the CD since I have all their CDs and then some.

It came today and I found myself kissing the cover tonight.  What am I a TEENAGER again?  Kissing my first Beatles album??  Yes, I kissed it and I love it.

I must be going dotty in my old age.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sh*t Choral Conductors Say

Oh, how true!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

There's a New Orchestra In Town

I live in a section of the Salt Lake Valley called Cottonwood Heights, named after the beautiful cottonwood trees that thrive in this area.  At certain seasons of the year, the ground is covered by "snow" from these trees.  The Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are just minutes away, leading to hiking, biking, camping, skiing and other outdoor sports.

Since Cottonwood Heights incorporated as a city, we now have an arts council and, this year, we have an orchestra - ta da!  The fledgling group is spreading its wings and will be performing its second concert on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

Selections will include several great Halloween-themed musical numbers, including:

Music from 'Gladiator'
Highlights from 'Wicked'
Selections from Tim Burton's 'Corpse Bride'
Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird Suite
The Complete Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Selection from 'The Phantom of the Opera'
Suite from 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
Brahms' Tragic Overture
Suite from 'Psycho'

The concert will be at 7:30pm in the Butler Middle School Auditorium, 7605 S 2700 E, Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

This is the time of year when there are an abundance of musical offerings from which to choose. (Notice I did NOT end that sentence with a preposition.  My high school English teacher would be so proud).

I hope to attend this concert even though it has NOTHING choral about it.  What a loss!  We could have a community chorus and combine some concerts.  After all, I'm retired and need activity, people! 

I fully expect to have orchestral types hunting me down for a bounty that has now been put on my head.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Faure Requiem Times Two

On Sunday October 26, 2014, the Cathedral of the Madeline Choir School will perform the Faure Requiem at 8:00 p.m.  Place is the Cathedral of course!
"Gabriel Faure’s sublime Requiem was premiered in Paris’s neo-classical Church of the Madeleine in 1888. Faure became the choirmaster of the Church of the Madeleine in Paris in the spring of 1877. There he prepared and conducted daily services with a small choir of 20 - 30 men and boys that served in this fashionable neo-classic church. He began work on his opus 48 Requiem in 1887, although the work developed and grew over the course of the next 13 years. The death of his father in 1885 and the death of his mother in 1887 may have given the impetus for the composition. The Cathedral Choir and Orchestra will perform an edition that is most like the early version of this work, a version that would have been heard at the Church of the Madeleine for many years following the original performance." -
And on Sunday November 2, 2014, the choir of St. Paul Episcopal Church will also perform the Faure Requiem.  Time is 4:00 p.m.  I'm singing in the St. Paul concert as well as other members of Jubilate.  Charles Black is the director and this is an annual event.  Here's an excerpt from the 2011 concert.  The entire concert can be found on YouTube by looking up Faure Requiem St. Paul Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Out of Sorts

I came away from rehearsal tonight without the usual endorphin high that I normally have after singing for three hours.  It was an odd practice session.  I've been trying to pinpoint what was wrong but it may not have been any one thing.  Our accompanist is new and still struggling to adjust to our director and to us.  We had a new candidate - a tenor, no less!  That was a good thing as he had a nice voice and was reading the music fairly easily. We had our usual laughs laced with the sarcasm only a musician would understand.  But we weren't "jelling."  We weren't "in the zone."  Most of us have sung together for so long, we quickly find that space where we cease being individual singers and become one choir voice.  It happens at each rehearsal, usually early in the evening, but it didn't happen at all tonight.  Or maybe it was just me, maybe I was just out of sorts. 

After all, have a new tenor so we must be doing something right for the universe to bestow such a gift upon us!

Also, at one point, our director told us we were all adults...seriously, does he really believe that?