Friday, April 29, 2005

last week of classes

The past week has been exhausting, but productive and successful.

Thursday (a week ago) I sang in performance class, which is the weekly recital for all the voice majors. Non-majors rarely sing, but my voice teacher encouraged me to do it for the experience. I sang Bereite dich, Zion from Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and it went very well. Didn't hurt that I had a kick-ass accompanist - one of the graduate accompanying majors agreed to accompany me. I totally owe her sushi. (Incidentally, she is perhaps the only other person on campus who doesn't own a cell phone.)

That Bach is a piece that sits very well in my voice, and is a lot of fun to sing. And I'm glad to have done it, and proved myself.

Friday evening was the first Kantorei concert, at Rider University, and Saturday evening was the same concert on the Westminster campus. We sang some Couperin, and Tallis' Lamentations of Jeremiah, and the Gesualdo Tenebrae Responsoris (the third set.) It went spectacularly well, and I was extremely happy to have my father, uncle, uncle's friend, and cousin in the audience. That may have been the best and hardest concert I've ever performed, and I was really proud of it, so it was good to have family there to share it! Saturday especially rocked - and right in the middle of the seventh response, the one with the most war-like text, "The kings of the earth shall rise up, and the princes take council together against the Lord and against his annoited" there was a bright lightning flash and a HUGE crash of thunder. It was so very extremely cool.

Saturday afternoon, between the two Kantorei concerts, was the performance of my women's choir (which now has a name! Roseae Feminae, in an oblique Latin reference to Rizzo's gang from Grease). We performed 3 works by 2 composers on campus, all of which went quite well. At the end of the concert, the head of the department came up and asked if we would perform one of the pieces, the one by the graduating senior, at Convocation (which was today.) We were somewhat caught off guard by this, but of course said yes.

Sunday morning my dad and I attended the Unitarian Church in Princeton, because we had been notified the day before that a fabulous women's chorus, Olympia's Daughters, would be leading the service. They were just as great as we had heard, and afterwards they kind of sort of invited me to join their group, which is based in New Jersey. I'm not convinced that with performances practically every weekend at Westminster I could make it work...but it would be a fabulous musical opportunity, so I'm going to keep thinking about it. I think they have what I was trying to find when I joined the Jubilee Singers last semester - a sort of direct, folk/spiritual-based, fun-loving communication-centered music...and they're also all UU's, so it would be a safe place to explore my spirituality.

Oh, and I liked the UU church, too. I think AN and I are going back this Sunday to dance around the maypole.

Sunday afternoon part of the Symphonic Choir sang the second suite of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. They're a great orchestra - I noticed the outstanding brass particularly - but seeing as we hardly sing at all in that suite, and there was much standing around while the conductor rehearsed the instruments and not us, this rather qualified as a chore. Also, anything is a let-down after singing it with Lorin Maazel. I got home from that and just collapsed.

However, there was really no time to recover - Monday I was back into a frantic cycle of rehearsals, preparing for classes, and generally trying to get everything set up for today, which was extremely stressful. First of all there was Convocation, where Roseae Feminae performed beautifully. I really do get extremely fond of choirs that I conduct on a regular basis. They are all such great and fun people in addition to being an excellent and intelligent combination of musicians. Then there was my ear-training final, which was stressful, but fine. Then there was my 45-minute presentation in my Rachmaninoff Choral Works presentation, which was also very stressful, and required a fair bit of preparation, but also went fine. Now that those three things are over, hopefully I can relax and not have bad dreams from stress and not wake up with the jitters before the alarm goes off.

After Saturday, when I have a masterclass with Dr. Flummerfelt and a recital to sing in, I really ought to be home free - a final or two, several concerts, but also hopefully some spare time. Real life requires my attention. I really need to get my bike out of the basement and give it a good cleaning, for one thing!

I ought to finish my composition assignment for my lesson tomorrow, but I'm afraid that after the intensity of today I'm incapable of focus. I'll just have to get up early tomorrow and finish it then.

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