Sunday, March 30, 2008

On Envy

Something I have been wanting to do for a while on this blog is to make more substantive posts about my thoughts and feelings about music and conducting. The Weekend Concert Calendar updates have gotten me blogging more regularly, so that's good, but I am going to try to start blogging regularly about other things too, that might give insight into that most revered object, The Musician's Braaaaaiiins.

Today's post is on envy.

Namely, I haz it.

If someone says to me, "Oh, I know this conductor, they're about your age, blah, blah, blah, you should meet them," my immediate response is pretty much "No I shouldn't! I hate them already!"

I am just massively jealous of all other conductors in my peer group. I am jealous that they get gigs that I didn't, that they have training that I didn't, that they have ears that I don't, that they are cuter, that they are nerdier, that they are more charismatic, have better stick technique, get gigs in spite of the fact that they have worse stick technique, that they have more contacts, that they have cool mentors, that they have piano skills, that they can tap-dance, you name it. Obviously this all comes from the fact that I don't have the career I want right now - I want to be conducting and music-making full-time - and I am still quite insecure in my abilities. And of course, once I meet one of these other conductors in person, I often find them good to talk to, and easy to connect with, and both charming and skilled (JR of OperaHub comes to mind.)

It should be noted that age is the key envy trigger. Older conductors or people with respected careers never generate these feelings. It's only the people I feel threatened by, people who are my direct competitors. Also, they need to be fairly formless - my friends who are conductors also don't generate this knee-jerk response. (I will not deny that there is the occasional conductor my age that I do know personally, and just don't particularly get on with - those I remain envious of!)

So, if you say to me, "Oh, I just LOVE so-and-so," don't be surprised if my response is lukewarm. Inside, I am saying, "But, but, I can do that, too!" I may also merely grunt if you say, "Oh, you should meet so-and-so! They're a conductor, too!"

(I should note that this is not the same as saying, "Oh, you should meet so-and-so, because they're gay/Asian/freckled/have a Wainwright bank account just like you and you'll love them!" In those situations, it is insulting and thoughtless to assume that people with like characteristics will automatically click. However, it IS perfectly reasonable to assume that I might want to network with other conductors. It is, in fact, a good idea for me to do so. So I encourage you to keep plugging in the face of any arched eyebrows you may get.)

Usually this envy manifests in a sort of flame-like spurt at the mention of another conductor, which is immediately tamped down so that I can function like a mature and compassionate human being. And sadly for the purposes of story-telling, I don't have any huge feuds with anyone, and this has never led to the least bit of drama. But I do think it's valuable to share that hey, these ugly feelings are there. In a profession that is so competitive (and here I mean the music business in general) I suspect that lots of musicians are envious of each other's success. I'm here to tell you that it's OK. You can be envious, squash it down, and then move on to be supportive of each other. It's not having negative feelings, it's how you act on them (or refrain from acting/speaking/snarking) that counts. I mention this because I suspect at least one reader's response to this post will be "Well, you shouldn't feel that way!" Maybe I shouldn't. But that is a far cry from doesn't.

As always, there is a lolcat for everything. My feelings towards other conductors can pretty much be summed up thus:

Humorous Pictures

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Weekend Concert Calendar, 3/27/08

First and foremost, the most exciting thing this weekend is that this Saturday (the last Saturday of Women's History Month) is SWAN Day, Support Women Artists Now Day. There will be arts festivals held all over the world, including one in Rhode Island, where Anthology will be singing! For more information about SWAN Day in general, check out the SWAN Day website (with an awesome video of Sandra Oh!!) For more information about the event in Providence, please check out the Providence MySpace page about the event. It will be at the Artists’ Exchange in Cranston, RI, and Anthology takes the stage at 2:30 pm.

Finding rehearsal time has been a bear recently for Anthology, partly because of Holy Week, and partly because we all have lives. Lucky we're all such top-notch musicians! ;)

So, if you decide not to mosey down to RI this weekend, what else is going on?


I can find no choral performances in MA this Friday. This can't be right - help me out! Anybody know of anything going on?


The concert I will be most sad to miss this weekend (due to being down in RI) is Musica Sacra's concert entitled "Vox Populi: Choral Works from Folk Music of the World." 8:00 pm at First Church Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge. More information is at their website.

Also on Saturday, the Spectrum Singers perform a concert titled "An American Sampler." The highlight will be Copland's In the Beginning featuring mezzo-soprano Krista River (a singer that Boston Cecilia fans will be familiar with.) 8:00 pm, Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St. - more info at their website.

On Saturday at 8 pm, and again on Sunday at 2 pm, Operatunity is presenting The Magic Flute down at the Orpheum Theater in Foxboro. I know a couple of good voices in the cast - worth the trip!

And if you are looking for some gospel, you can check out the
Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown 20th Pastoral Anniversary Concert at the Union Baptist Church of Cambridge at 6 pm. Directions are here, and a little more information is here.


On Sunday at 3 pm, the Sounds of Stow will perform the Cherubini Requiem in C minor. I'm also pretty bummed I won't be able to make it to this one - I have long wanted to hear a performance of this piece. This will be at the Hale Middle School, Hartley Road @ JCT Rte.117/62 (behind the firehouse) in Stow Center. The Sounds of Stow is remarkable for being a non-auditioned choir that holds itself to amazingly high standards - I've heard them before, and recommend the trip.

If you are in Worcester on Sunday, the Salisbury Singers will present "Choral Treasures of Latin America" at 2:30 pm at St.Peter’s Church, 929 Main Street, Worcester, MA . More information is at their website. (Warning: it's one of those websites with automatic music.)

And in a bit of interesting planning BOTH the Boston Lyric Opera and the Newton Symphony Orchestra are presenting Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel on Sunday. NSO at 7:00 pm at The Rashi Auditorium at 15 Walnut Park, Newton Corner, and the BLO up in Marblehead at 1:30 pm. More details on their respective websites.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


For those who follow this website regularly, you may be vaguely aware that I have been trying to get a small professional vocal group off the ground for over a year now. We settled on a new name - Anthology - and we have a shiny, shiny website up at With shiny, shiny audio clips of us singing! Including a bit of Brahms, some madrigal action, a little folk, a bit of Barbershop, and a little Sweet Honey in the Rock action. So skip on over and check it out, and then sign up to be on our mailing list! (Those e-mails come straight to me, so I'll be keeping tabs on who signs up!)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Weekend Concert Calendar, 3/20/08

Pretty much every Thursday the following thought crosses my brain: "Doot'n doo, what do I have to get done this evening? Oh, crap, I have to write up the Weekend Concert Calendar!" (Not that I don't do it out of love, but it does generally take over an hour.)

This week, the following thought crossed my brain: "Doot'n doo, what do I have to get done this evening? Oh, crap, I have to write up the Weekend Concert Calendar! Oh, but it's Holy Week, so that will take all of two seconds."

Well, maybe more than two seconds, but the fact remains that many singers and directors are busy with Christian-related activities (even the non-Christians) so the concert calendar this weekend is rather slim.

By the way, a disclaimer that you have probably already figured out: as a general rule I do not post notices of church services, even special ones, and I do not post notices of solo (or duet or what-have-you) vocal recitals. There are just too many events in each category. Obviously if I am personally excited about something, you may hear about it, but in general, that's my policy. So, for example, I'm probably not going to tell you that Handel and Haydn is doing a concert set this weekend called "Italian Virtuosi" with Dominique Labelle, soprano. That would be a typical example of something I probably wouldn't mention.

That said, what do we have this weekend?


Because it is a world premiere, I will mention that the Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont St., Boston is premiering The Passion According to St. John by Karl Henning as part of their Good Friday liturgy. Performance at noon.

Trinity Church will present Bach's St. John Passion at 5:30. More details here. Trinity Church is in Copley Square.

On Friday and also Saturday (and tonight, but too late now) the BSO is performing Bach's St. Matthew Passion. This is at 7 pm at Symphony Hall. Details at their website. Haitink conducting.


There is one really exciting concert this week that I was very annoyed that I won't be able to make. The Orpheus Singers, directed by James Olesen (whom I just think is the bee's knees) will perform a concert of Irving Fine, Claudio Monteverdi, Marjorie Merryman, Donald Martino, and Seymour Shifrin. The Orpheus Singers is a pretty high-class deal - the singers I know who are in it are all professional-level - and what's more, it's FREE. This will be at the Slosberg Music Center at Brandeis University.

Also, those operas I reviewed a few days ago? Put on by Juventas and OperaHub? You can go see them yourself at 8 pm! At Boston Conservatory, 8 The Fenway, Boston.


Honestly, I got nuthin'. Paint some eggs, eat some chocolate, see you next week!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New operas

I just went to the Juventas/OperaHub production of three new chamber operas. I got a couple of comps, and although I couldn't persuade anyone to go with me - Holy Week rehearsals are eating people up - I'm very glad I went. However, part of the joy of going to new music concerts is talking about it afterwards, and I have no one to talk at! So my blog shall bear the brunt of the burden.

The first opera was called Dust of the Road by Marcus Karl Maroney. The composition was solid - I thought the orchestration was especially fine, and the vocal writing was well done, although I felt that he used the "have the singer stay on one note for a really long time for dramatic effect" conceit a bit too much, and I just didn't feel his vocal writing was very melodic in general - more through-composed and atmospheric, which just isn't my thing. However, there were some really nice moments, especially in the second half, and when he dropped out the orchestra for an a cappella moment towards the end, it was really beautiful and effective.

Then we got to the second opera. This one, A Rooster for Asclepius, fell into the category of "innovative." There was video, and weird costumes, and masks, and random extreme vocal effects like yodeling and hissing and having the singers hold their noses, and there didn't seem to be a point to any of it, so the combination of composition and staging was, for me, was rather tiresome. Trying to shock your audience for shock's sake is rather last-century, non?

I believe the third opera, RE: by Christine McClintock, may have been my favorite. I really, really liked the music for this one - she had some lovely melodies, and I liked the tension she set up between the rhythm of the melodies and the rhythm of the words. Unfortunately I really couldn't figure out what was going on - the book was a compilation of Craigslist snippets, and if there was plot, I'm not sure what happened. This was partially exacerbated by a problem that all of the operas faced, namely that of balance due to the room (see below) although I also felt that in this opera the composer layered instruments that were in the same range as the voices on top of them, so that made it harder to hear the voices. However, of all the composers I heard tonight, I will be most interested to see what she does in the future.

The main problem with the entire evening was the balance between the instruments and voices - whenever things got loud and dramatic, the singers were quite hard to hear, through no fault of their own. This was a problem with the room - it was just a room, not a stage, with a pointy ceiling that I suspect didn't reflect the sound back, and the orchestra was on the floor with the audience in front of the stage. The walls of the room also ate up the sound - if someone turned their head even just a slight angle away from the audience, there was a much more dramatic drop in volume than you would get on a normal stage. I am not sure what anyone could have done about this - performance space is hard to come by in this city.

The most delightful aspect of the whole evening was the level of the singers. They were just fantastic on all counts, and that includes acting, too, in addition to their voices. They were comfortable on stage, focused in their intention, beautiful diction, beautiful tone...I can't even pick any one singer out for special praise, because then I'd have to give individual props to all of them. The orchestra too was very fine (enough so that I am wondering where they came from and if I can convince any of them to play for me in the future.) But the singers - I just wanted to gather them all up under my wings and take them over to the Lyric or Opera Boston and say, "You must give all of these people leading roles and big salaries right now! What are you thinking, letting talent like this languish unappreciated! For shame!"

It's just depressing - I know so many singers that I respect so much, and they can't make a living. Where's a sympathetic billionaire when you need one?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Musical weekend, part II

The final concert I attended this past weekend was the Arlington-Belmont Chorale's performance on Sunday afternoon.

The Chorale performed three Bruckner motets, and Vivaldi's Gloria, both quite respectably, although the pianist on the latter was rather rickety, and the conductor of the former (Assistant Conductor Christopher Charig) had distractingly odd finger positions when conducting. However, the real excitement of the program was the premiere of Executive Orders, a new multi-movement work for chorus with solo vocal quartet, string quartet, and electric guitar, by my good friend Michael Veloso.

It was a setting of texts relating to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and it was really good.

I tend to judge music on two scales. First there is what you might call the idea scale. Is it original? Beautiful? Inspired? Does it communicate? Is it interesting? Do I care? I am happy to report the answer is yes on all of the above.

But the point on which I am often far more critical is the second scale, which is competence of execution. Did you write well for the instruments, with respect to their ranges, timbres, and limitations? Did you balance your musicians well? Did you set the text with intelligence and attention to detail? If you were writing for a specific ensemble (as Mike was) did you consider their level of skill when composing? Would I ever consider performing this piece myself? In short, was your writing elegant? And again, the answer was a resounding yes.

I suspect that sometimes people, including composers and performing musicians, think that by this time in history, the only way to be truly original is to write something really hard. Surely, the theory goes, there is less variety of easy music to be written than hard music, as if both difficulty and originality exist in a sort of outwardingly expanding circle from a central point, and all the easy music has been written already, and the only way to do interesting things is to live on that event horizon of originality and difficulty.

But in fact, this is completely untrue. Mike wrote something completely fresh, and beautiful, and gripping. But he also wrote something that amateur musicians could master. And call me a Yankee pragmatist, but that impressed and delighted me the most. I am pleased to report that both the Chamber Chorus and the four amateur soloists did really well - diction, tuning, notes, rhythm, intensity - everything was there. Kristin Boardman, the alto soloist, and Brian Middleton, the tenor soloist, deserve particular praise for some really beautifully sung solos. Barry Singer, the conductor, did a very good job of assembling this piece.

So Mike succeeded beautifully in all possible ways, and deserves much praise, and I am very proud to be associated with him. The only frustrating part was that starting in about the middle of the first movement, I desperately wanted to be conducting this myself, with a big professional choir, and the Guarneri quartet, and maybe Steve Vai on the stage of Carnegie Hall. I feel very proprietary towards Mike's choral music, since we've worked together in the past, and this was a big milestone, and a great piece. Not having the resources to do it myself, and give it the full professional treatment so that I could do everything perfectly was very frustrating. The result is that today I was poking about online again, looking at DMA programs.

Anyways, Mike deserves more commissions. (There are two solutions to this - you could commision him directly, or someone could just GIVE ME A BIG FAT CHORAL CONDUCTING JOB and I'll take care of commissioning him myself.) Also, there will be a repeat performance on May 16 at 8 pm at First Parish in Arlington, and I suggest you go, especially if you are a conductor on the look-out for new repertoire (as every conductor should be.)

In short, why does everyone always perform the Vivaldi Gloria? It is both charming and not difficult. Well, now you have a new contender! Don't perform that anymore - perform Executive Orders instead! I am sure Mr. Veloso would be happy to send you a copy of the score for review. Right, Mike?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Musical weekend

It's been a good musical weekend. Friday I went out to Cohasset to see a couple of my church choir members in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This was well worth the trip! Joseph (one of my tenors) and the Pharaoh (another one of my tenors - yes, I have multiple tenors!) were both fantastic - Joseph in particular had a really charming stage presence and good facial expressions all the way through, in addition to a delightfully easy singing tone. And the Pharoah was appropriately hilarious. I was also blown away by the Narrator, a woman named Ann McCoy. She was totally fantastic. I rather feel she could have a professional career if she wanted to. I had a great time generally, and I have to say that Joseph is a really charming musical -I had forgotten. Somehow, although I have never owned a recording and have never been in the show, I knew all the music. A day later this is still a mystery to me.

Then tonight I went to the Back Bay Chorale's performance of Frank Martin's Mass for Double Choirs. The program was set up to imitate a mass service, so there were other works by French composers interspersed between the mass movements, which provided the overall framework. This worked really well - I thought it was very good programming. And the performance was very well-done. Solo soprano Shannon Salyards was wonderful on a set of pieces by Messiaen. My one quibble is that the soprano sound in the chorus was somewhat strained in the highest register. But I totally enjoyed the concert - really good tuning, good rhythmic accuracy, and a great blend. I hope they made a recording. It was also really nice to just listen to the Martin - I had only ever sung it, and music is different from the outside-in, as opposed to the inside-out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weekend Concert Calendar, 3/13/08

It is supposed to rain this weekend, so dig out those umbrellas, and figure out which concert you're going to go see! Remember, bad weather can really hurt the size of an audience, so it is up to us to counteract that trend! I myself am going to THREE concerts this weekend, and I am involved in NONE of them. This is some sort of record. But it is a very, very rich choral weekend.


One of the biggest events this weekend has to be the Cantata Singers performance of Brahms' Requiem. They will be performing on Friday at 8 pm and on Sunday at 3 pm at Jordan Hall. Also on the program will be Ferruccio Busoni's Berceuse élégiaque and Kurt Weill's Concerto for Violin and Wind Instruments (in keeping with their Year of Weill.) The solo singers will be Jennifer Foster and Dana Whiteside. And Richard Dyer will be giving a pre-concert lecture at 6:45 and 1:45 (Friday and Sunday, respectively.) The Cantata Singers are one of the best choruses in Boston, and there is absolutely no doubt that this will be fantastic.

But they have big competition with The Boston Secession, which will perform "Handel in the Strand." "This concert traces the musical inheritance of Handel’s heirs – from the man himself to works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Weill, Stravinsky and even Percy Grainger." First Church in Cambridge, 8:00 pm. More information is at their website.

More competition comes from the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium, which will present Bach's Mass in b minor on Friday at Sanders Theater at 8 pm. This is also bound to be a special performance. More information is on their website.


For Saturday, the one I'll be choosing is the Back Bay Chorale's performance of Frank Martin's Mass for Double Choir. Also on the program are pieces by Messaien and Poulenc. Shannon Salyards is the solo soprano. The Back Bay Chorale is one of my alma...choruses, or whatever the proper term is, and conductor Scott Jarrett is rising fast. Everywhere I turn I hear about people who adore his conducting and rehearsing, and these are sane, level-headed, tough-to-impress people, mind you, not given to hyperbole. He will be giving a pre-concert lecture at 7. The Martin Mass is adored by those who know it, so if you don't yet know it, I recommend you come! Emmanuel Church at 8 pm.

But the Brookline Chorus is presenting a very intriguing alternative. They are presenting J.S. Bach’s two cantatas BWV 19 and 149 and Benjamin Britten’s cantata “The Company of Heaven." Intriguing programming. This is at 8 pm at All Saints Parish in Brookline - more info at their website.

Also on Saturday, Cantemus will be putting on a concert called “Voice of Jazz: Cantemus Swings!” Come hear selections from the Great American Songbook. 7:30 pm, Pingree School, 537 Highland Street, South Hamilton - more information is at their website. They will also present this program on Sunday at 4:00 at The Governor’s Academy, 1 Elm Street, Byfield.

Yet more for Saturday - the Concord Chorus presents the Brahms Zigeunerlieder, along with Stanford and Monteverdi. 8:00 pm at Concord Academy Chapel, 166 Main Street, Concord, MA.


On Sunday, the MOST exciting performance is the Arlington-Belmont Chorale, which will perform a world premiere composed by my good friend Michael Veloso. It is called Executive Orders and is a setting of texts relating to the interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, scored for chorus, soloists, string quartet, and electric guitar. 3 pm, First Parish UU Church in Arlington. Come and hear a piece never before heard (well, in public - one presumes they've been practicing!)

But, considering it's Palm Sunday, you may choose the Masterworks Chorale performance of Bach's St. John Passion at Harvard University. Featuring tenor Jason McStoots (Evangelist), bass-baritone Ulysses Thomas (Jesus), soprano Teresa Wakim, mezzo-soprano Deborah Rentz-Moore, tenor Charles Blandy, and baritone Sumner Thompson. This will be in Sanders Theater at 3 pm, with a 2:00 pre-concert lecture with Steve Ledbetter (and the pre-concert lecture is bound to be more interesting with the St. John Passion than practically any other piece.)

The Paul Madore Chorale will also celebrate Palm Sunday with an all-Bach program, including Easter Cantata #4 "Christ Lag in Todesbanden". This will be in the evening, 7 pm, at First Parish Church, 225 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA.

For Sunday, also see Cantemus and Cantata Singers, above.

Did I forget anything? Give me the details in the comments!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I just saw the Lowell House performance of Turandot at Harvard. This is a quick note to say that it was a great production, and I highly recommend it. In particular, the two leads, Turandot and Calaf, were fantastic. I, along with many other people, wondered where Lowell House was going to find singers in Boston to fill those roles, but they succeeded admirably. Mad props to Michelle Trainor and Kevin Courtemanche, as they were both excellent. All the soloists were very solid, as was the chorus, orchestra, and everyone involved.

Although I have to say (and I know my mother is going to roll her eyes and say, "But it's opera!") that the plot is grade-A icky. Everyone is completely off their rocker. All the leads did an excellent job of making their characters real and emotional, but especialy the plot line in the third act of "You're sexually harassing me! This is making me fall in love with you!" is just a hard sell under the best of circumstances. Not to mention the old chestnut "I've seen her for five seconds! I am now madly in love with her and will abandon my blind, lame father on the streets to pursue her!"

But, as Anna Russell would say, "That's the beauty of grand opera - you can do anything, so long as you sing it!"

Thursday, March 06, 2008

News, and Weekend Concert Calendar 3/6/08

Apologies for slacking off on the Weekend Concert Calendar for the past 2 weeks. The reason is that I have a new job!

I am no longer working for the Boston Cecilia. I had a great time there, and I'm going to miss them all very much. However, I'm also quite excited about my new job - I'll be working at Harvard Law School in the Office of Public Interest Advising. Basically, we are the career services office for non-profit and government work.

So, for the past two weeks I have been working both jobs, which left me a little limp, and disinclined to scan the concert pages. However, guilt over my dereliction of duty has propelled me back into my usual schedule, so here are the concerts lined up for this weekend! (See if you can find the one that I'm in. It's like Where's Waldo! Only if Waldo were, like, female, and blond, and singing, and someone who wouldn't be caught dead in horizontal red-and-white stripes,* and not actually hiding anywhere. And without that whole looking-at-a-picture element. So, OK. Maybe not so much like Waldo after all.)


Chorus Pro Musica, 8:00 pm, Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont St. in Boston - They will be performing "A Celebration of New England Composers" in honor of Daniel Pinkham. (There's a lot of that going around.) From Billings right up until the present day, there are a lot of good composers that have come from this area, so go and feel some local pride! More information at their website.

Boston Choral Ensemble, 8:00 pm, First Church in Cambridge - The Boston Choral Ensemble will perform di Lasso's "Lagrime de San Pietro." More information at their website. I don't know this piece, but I love Orlando di Lasso, so I'm somewhat sad that a rehearsal prevents me from making this concert.


New England Classical Singers, 7:30 pm, St. Augustines Church, Essex St., Andover - Two classics - the Fauré Requiem and "Rejoice in the Lamb" by Benjamin Britten. If you are not intimately familiar with both of these pieces, then go! You must hear them! And if you are, then you already know why you should go. More info at their website.

Chorus North Shore, 8:00 pm, Our Lady of Hope Church, Linebrook Rd., Ipswich, MA - It seems to be a good weekend for American composers - this concert features Bernstein, Billings, Copland, Getchell, Thompson and other American composers. More info at their website - this concert will also be on Sunday at First Parish Church, 225 Cabot St., Beverly, MA.

Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society, 8:00 pm, Sanders Theatre in Cambridge - This concert is titled "Musica Diversa", and that's just what these two groups will be singing - anything that caught their fancy over the past half-century. More information at their respective websites.

Assabet Valley Mastersingers, 8:00 pm, St. Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, MA - This is a mixed bag concert, so I will simply quote from their website: "Bach's Lobet Denn Herrn will be contrasted with Rachmaninoff's setting of the same text. Similar comparisons of musical settings will be Victoria with Lauridsen, and Brahms with Whitacre. This exciting and eclectic program will also include American music from the Spiritual to Randall Thompson's "Ye Shall Have a Song."" More information at said website.

Rachmaninoff Festival Choir, 7:30 pm, St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, MA -
Rachmaninoff's Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom will be performed by the Rachmaninoff Festival Choir combined with members of the Down East Singers and the Bowdoin College Chorus, both located in mid-coast Maine. More info is at the church's website.


Choir of All Saints Parish, 3:00 pm, All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon St., Brookline, MA - The Choir of All Saints presents their Annual Sacred Concert of Remembrance featuring the Fauré Requiem and other sacred works by Fauré. Jessica Cooper, soprano and Robert Honeysucker, baritone. Donald Teeters, conducting. Free! Also featuring, ringing in the alto section, a familiar blogger!

Polymnia Choral Society, 4:00 pm, St. Mary's Church, 46 Myrtle St., Melrose - Polymnia presents the Cherubini Requiem, which is not so well known nowadays, but which was much beloved in times past (Beethoven famously listed it as one of his favorite pieces.) Highly worth going to see. More information at their website.

Seraphim Singers, 4:00 pm, The United Church of Christ, 496 Main Street, Medfield, MA - this is a tough day to decide! Seraphim Singers are a stellar choir that handles astonishingly difficult music with ease (I should know, I sang with them until Boston Cecilia took away my Monday nights, and I think that's the hardest rep I've ever had put in front of me.) They'll be performing Schütz Deutsches Magnificat; Byrd Ave Maria & other works honoring the Virgin Mary. More info at their website. They will also be performing this concert for FREE at St. Mary's Chapel at Boston College on Tuesday at 8:00 pm.

Boston Choral Ensemble, 2:00 pm, St. John the Evangelist, 35 Bowdoin St., Boston - see entry under Friday.

Chorus North Shore, 3:00 pm, First Parish Church, 225 Cabot St., Beverly, MA - see entry under Saturday.

Assabet Valley Mastersingers, 8:00 pm, St. Mark's School, Southborough, MA - see entry under Saturday.

Quincy Choral Society, 2:00 pm, Sacred Heart School Auditorium, Hancock St. (Rte.3A) N. Quincy - "Lights, Camera, Auction!" Join them for a free concert, a silent auction, and a sing-along! They will be performing a fun assortment of pieces from movies and musicals. More information is here. (Warning - their website is rather loud.)

Mass Theatrica, 2:00 pm, Southgate of Shrewsbury, 30 Julio Drive, Shrewsbury, MA - an open read-through of the G&S operetta Iolanthe. It appears that the cast for soloists has been settled, but if you bring your own score, you can sing in the chorus. More information is here.

In short, a very rich weekend! Don't forget, live music is like nothing else. Get out there and physically remind yourself of that fact.

*Unless I was dressed up like a pirate. That's kind of a no-brainer, right? Except one must be careful about making sweeping statements on the web.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Links - Korea and England

From my brother comes an article about the recent New York Phil performance in North Korea, and the use of music generally as a diplomatic tool.

And from my father comes an article about the first female assistant conductor of the oldest orchestra in Britain, and, says the article, the first woman to hold "such a position in the country." It is not clear whether this means the first woman to get a two-year contract, or the first assistant conductor, but either way, what year are we in? The wheels of change sure do move slowly. And yet people still sit around and debate whether sexism exists in regard to conductors.