Posts Tagged 'chorus'

Trying to be very quiet

There’s taping going on in the next room. The chorus has gone virtual, which means we’ve all been doing our best. I taped earlier, and I think my tape may get the response, “Oh, dear. She tried.” So many blooper reels. So many times the pretty little horses had coats muddled, or words didn’t come out correctly (spoonerisms…. so many!).

The cats really don’t care about keeping quiet, or what other sounds might ruin a taping. One cat has been quacking and growling outside of the makeshift studio door, climbing up on a hall table to experiment with the door handle. I managed to be quiet, and not hum my part along. I’ve sent away my part, and hopefully it was good enough that the mixer can do magic and make it work with the others.

The funniest blooper reel (besides the one where I warble as sirens respond to a fire call and someone starts to wood chip a stump), was when I realized I had sung the wrong word, said “fudging hell,” and turned off the tape. Apparently working in childcare and in a museum did some good.

Bittersweet

Last night, we watched footage online from concerts of choruses that were going to be at our summer’s big singing event.

I should be packing for the event – getting my outfit from the cleaners and checking my boarding details, except it’s all been canceled. Mercifully, the timing of the pandemic means all the singers aren’t converging in one place for our convention. I love singing. I love what singing does: making me feel 3-dimensional and almost a part of the elements. As an alto, I get the best of singing worlds: sometimes a rumble that supports the sopranos, and sometimes a trill that sneaks above the top line.

It’s all canceled, and postponed to a distant date. Hopefully my nonprofit chorus can bear the stress of NOT singing for the safety of everyone.

For now, seeing all those familiar faces is bittersweet. And I think about my own chorus and wonder, to quote an old song “When will I see you again?” Link to The Three Degrees. This singing group’s look and Philly sound was iconic when I was a kid.

So, I wonder, and wish. Online meetings, phone conversations and letters only go so far.

The power of more voices

Our chorus has had a sudden addition of altos, sopranos, tenors, and at least one extra bass. And so, even though we’re struggling with learning the Spring concert music… there is more sound.

But there are also more interpretations of what a dotted eighth rest is when a piece is marked in 6/8 time. Eventually it will all lock into place, but for now there’s a bit of untamed sounds hooting in places that should be silent as we learn the new stuff (including a version of Shenandoah that is lovely, but with very challenging discordant bits [Link to Mormon Tabernacle Choir of one arrangement, and to another by University of Richmond from 1971]). I’ve put both links up to the different versions of the song, because they’re both lovely.

Time to spiff up the tuxedo

It’s another concert night, so it’s time to spiff up the tuxedo, make sure I know where the bow tie is, and bake cookies for the reception. Our concert will include: music by Morten Lauridsen, Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Caroling, Caroling.* I may choose the Joy of Cooking peanut butter cookie recipe and substitute Nutella. I suppose I should put a warning note on it that it contains hazelnuts, in case someone has a nut allergy. Link to a preview of the concert (practice session) is here.

If you’re out of town, and can’t come to the concert, hopefully the links provided will help make your season a little bit brighter. It’s going to be a lovely concert. Hopefully only rain will be a problem –> no snow this year (fingers crossed).

So, anyone else have the Christmas concert jitters? Or are all of your concerts later in December, so you still have time to prep?

* Music links are to other choruses. The Morten Lauridsen piece is done by Conspirare in Texas. Their version is truly inspirational, and I’ve been listening to it a lot. I might have to get their CD. ‘Twas the Night recording was done by Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians. Caroling, Caroling was sung by Utah Chamber Artists.

Thoughts after singing a premiere work in concert

Our LGBTS community chorus did the premiere of a new piece of music by Nathan Hall (I am in Love with the World), and now I’m sorting out my feelings about it. It was like 40 of my friends all chose to go out on a vocal tightrope, and trust that we were singing the music the way the composer wanted, based on the thoughts of our director, who had only heard the notes played on piano/electric keyboard. It’s based on Maurice Sendak’s words (not his creations), and many of us are fans of his work — The Night Kitchen, Where the Wild Things Are. So we wanted to do justice to his life with an amazing 15 minutes of song. Continue reading ‘Thoughts after singing a premiere work in concert’


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