Tuesday, February 27, 2007

AMC report

I believe in a previous post I mentioned going up to Pinkham Notch in NH to conduct a Mountains and Music weekend. That was the weekend before this past one, and it was a great time.

The big part of the weekend was teaching the singers who signed up Haydn's Paukenmesse. We had three rehearsals, and although we didn't do all of the Credo, just the final fugal bit, the entire thing came together really well. The last time I went up (in Fall 2004) the choir was OK, but this time the choir was great - all the voice parts were strong, and everyone could read, and I even had enough tenors! My friend AG came up and sang part of the soprano solo - I love conducting her, so that was a real treat. And JL, organist and keyboardist supreme, came up to accompany, which was also a treat, since I don't get provided with an accompanist all that often. We performed the mass with the orchestra on Saturday night, and it went really well. It's always good to have your family playing the loudest instruments (Mom on tympani, Dad on trumpet) because you know they'll be watching, and it makes you feel a bit more secure! Then the orchestra conductor, Peter Szep, conducted Beethoven's 8th and the Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream suite, and, as AG said, held them together by sheer force of will, which was extraordinarily instructive to watch (as well as quite amusing!)

Sunday night was a talent show, where we performed PDQ Bach's My Bonnie Lass, She Smelleth in a manner befitting a composer whose music has been rescued from the trash bins behind universities, and my dad and I performed Monty Python's Penultimate Supper sketch (over my mother's objections, but to great acclaim.) Earlier that day I also got to do a bunch of duet singing with AG, which was most fun.

But that was half the weekend - the other half, and the other reason everyone went up to NH, was to tramp around in the snow. As someone who tends not to get along well with winter, it was good to go outside in truly wintery circumstances and enjoy myself. Sunday I went snow-shoeing for the first time, and it was great. Monday morning I was told I didn't need snowshoes, and as a result the half-hour hike was spent with me up to my knees, and sometimes my hips, in snow. Luckily I had a tall guy in front of me to break down the snow, and I could walk in his footsteps - I felt like King Wenceslas's page. But the wind was blowing so hard that day that even if I was just three yards behind him, his footsteps would begin to be filled in. JL danced around me in snowshoes and mocked my staggering progress.

We stopped at the Pearl Izumi outlet on the way back through North Conway, but unfortunately even at the outlet I couldn't afford anything. However, the desk clerk was cute, and quite helpful.

And really, one can't discuss Pinkham Notch without mentioning the food, which (setting aside the corned beef) was great. I had hot chocolate with every single meal. The second dinner we ate I ate so much of the soup (corn chowder) that I couldn't eat the main entree. This made me very sad, but the corn chowder was worth it.

I enjoyed the first time I went up for this Mountains and Music weekend, but I enjoyed this time even more. It was a great experience, and although they have a policy of trying to always be looking for new conductors, I'm hoping they'll ask me back again someday!

1 comment:

  1. How awesome! Sounds like a great weekend of music, family, friends, good food and fun! Congratulations!
    Can I come next year?