Saturday, February 19, 2005

By the way, I'm willing to bet that if people commented (hint, hint) on my blog more often, I'd post more.


Very sick for the past few days...just generic flu, something that makes me want to just sleep and sleep. I started feeling tired on Thursday morning. I got through all my classes that day, but I only went to my 9 am class on Friday (for a listening test) and then went home to bed. Today, unfortunately, I had a performance and a rehearsal. The performance was a piece for women's chorus that a friend of mine wrote, and the assembling of the chorus and performance was step one in my plan to dominate the world form a permanent women's chorus to perform new music and for me to conduct. In this respect, it was pretty successful - I have about 5-6 people on board for a permanent group, I think. And the performance went quite well - it was a rock-crossover piece, with two pianos - one being played conventionally, and one being banged inside. We were definitely the biggest event on the program. There was some other good stuff, in particular some short piano pieces that were brief, but very meaty. Well-constructed. There was also some folk music, which was interesting - folk music is generally performed in such a different environment that I think the performer had a little difficulty when the normal "working the crowd" thing that's so standard in clubs didn't get a big response.

After that (partly since I was already on campus) I went to the rehearsal of another Westminster composer's work for his upcoming senior recital. I didn't sing, b/c of my illness, and planned to just sit in the back, but then the piano player didn't show up, so I ended up accompanying the whole rehearsal. I thought I did pretty well - I didn't know I still had that much keyboard sight-reading in me.

And now to bed. I have Angelique Kidjo on the stereo - I'm hoping she'll give me enough energy to clean my room a little of old teacups and uneaten food before I zonk out.

Friday, February 11, 2005


So, I dropped Musicology. I was taking 17 credits, when 12 is normal and 35 are required to graduate. I'm still insanely busy, but much happier.

My schedule:

Choral Literature II on MWF from 9:10-10:10.
Symphonic Choir on MTWF from 11:30-12:30. (and I'm a section leader for this, meaning I have to take extra time outside rehearsal to put notes into my score from the conductor and learn my part extra-well)
Westminster Choir on MWF from 4:30-6:00. Right now we're working with Stefan Parkman, who is having us do wonderful repertoire which does, however, require that I go listen to tapes in the library and learn how to pronounce Swedish.
Kantorei on T from 6:30-9:30 in the evening. Gesualdo city.
Conducting II on TRF from 2:10-3:10. One day a week is ear-training with Prof. Lee which requires significant preparation, and meeting outside of class with a partner to test each other. The other two days are gesture and rehearsal technique with Dr. Jordan.
Conducting Lab on T from 3:20-4:20. This one-hour-a-week class focuses on rehearsal technique. I just had my turn this week, so this one will not require preparation for a month, at least.
Rachmaninoff Choral Works on TR from 4:30-6:00. This is a seminar, meaning the professor is very vague about what actual work we need to be doing, and then he assumes things will be done by a certain time. I'm still getting used to this.
Voice Lesson on W from 1:30-2:00. I need to practice more for this than I have been.
Composition Lesson on F from 1:30-2:00. This requires a lot of preparation - composition exercises plus counterpoint exercises every week.
Graduate Assisting at various times, adding up to about 4-8 hours a week. I'm assisting both Prof. Lee and Dr. Jordan with their undergraduate conducting classes. I test the students' preparation of the pieces they conduct - they have to be able to sing and play them. Sometimes I attend their actual classes to watch the students and help out, but more often not.
Tutoring at various times. I tutor a student in theory, and some of the GA sessions are also tutoring sessions for sight-reading and piano skills.

In addition, there's my women's chorus. I am still in the process of getting this baby off the ground. Rehearsals are Sundays from 4-5:30, and that will eventually extend to 6:00. Finding rep, preparing it, and the administrative work of contacting people and scheduling things takes up a lot of time.

Also, I am singing for other people's projects. Although I'm not in Master Singers this year, the class that is the chorus for graduate student recitals, I generally sing in concerts when students ask me to, and that requires rehearsal time. I'm singing in another composer's choral project for his senior composition recital. And although I'm section leader for Symphonic Choir II, I will also be singing Berlioz's Damnation of Faust later this year - that will require extra rehearsal time, as well as a lot of study on my own since I'm not attending the majority of rehearsals.

Add to this the daily chores of living, and I'm swamped. I keep thinking "it'll get better next week..."