Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday cat post!

My brother says, "Oomi was just sleeping on Ruth and then all of a sudden looked very alarmed and was staring at the ceiling." I call this "OMG, it's Ceiling Cat!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Carmen reviews

The BOC's production of Carmen, which took over my life for the past two months, is OVER. I celebrated on Monday by going on a long bike ride, including a stop at an ice cream stand in Carlisle, and watching a lot of Stargate: Atlantis. Carmen was a great experience - I'm especially thankful for all the great people I got to meet during the production - but it's nice to have my life back!

Two reviews are here and here. I take issue with the first a little. For one thing, I thought that that cast's Carmen deserved way more gushing than just the adjective "sultry"!

Also, the reviews do not mention the exceptional cymbal-playing in the orchestra. (Although quite a number of middle-aged women came up to compliment me while I was sitting in the pit during intermissions; it happened often enough to form a trend. I think that perhaps 50 years ago women were not encouraged to play cymbals and they got quite a vicarious thrill out of seeing me do it. I was, admittedly, quite loud. Someone should form a women's amateur percussion ensemble in the area, because from what I saw, there is quite a market for middle-aged and elderly women who would like to play cymbals and never got the chance! It could be called "The Cymbals of Progress" and we could all dress up like Rosie the Riveter and march around the streets of Cambridge and Boston and make an unholy amount of noise.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday link

This week's link is sad news concerning the death on July 21 of noted professor and scholar of African-American music, Horace Clarence Boyer.

There is a biography on the PBS website, and an obituary on the UMass Amherst website, where he taught for over twenty years.

When he was a teenager, he started recording gospel records with his brother James. Together they were "The Boyer Brothers" and they toured extensively. You can hear one of their recordings on Youtube.

Thanks to my friend Josh for alerting me to this news!

Audition notice

Over the coming month or two, I am sure the audition notices will fly thick and fast. Here's the first one!

Schola Nocturna, a small vocal ensemble of mixed voices based in Newton, MA, is looking for all voices for next year. Singers must be strong sight-readers, and have some prior experience in a choral setting. Singers will learn to read original chant notation and become conversant with performance practice. In addition, four-part literature will be sung.

Schola Nocturna sings ancient Latin chant and polyphony for a monthly non-denominational compline service on the first Sunday of each month at 8:30 PM with a warm up from 6:30
PM. Rehearsals are the previous two Saturdays from 10 AM to 12PM. Auditions are by appointment only; contact information for setting up an audition is here. Please prepare one short a cappella piece. You will be asked to try a few aural and rhythmic tests as
well as a bit of sight reading. More information about Schola Nocturna and Night Prayer can be found here. Schola Nocturna is directed by Amelia LeClair.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday cat post! (technically Caturday cat post)

It's belated, and also rotated!

Anyone know how to rotate Youtube videos?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday link

My dad sent me this link. This is by a group called Perpetuum Jazzile, and their website calls them "Slovenia's only jazz choir." They are conducted by Tomaž Kozlevčar, who is also their art director.

They have several videos up on YouTube. They are a lot of fun! And on a presentational note, I love the way they dress the group - they look unified, and professional, but not identical.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday cat post!

Your Oomi picture today is a (very short) video. Apparently my brother and sister-in-law are going to teach their cat to play fetch.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New jobs!

So, waaay back in May two very exciting things happened. Initially I didn't blog about them because I was asked not to for a few days by the hiring committees, but now it's been what, almost two months? And I can only explain my lack of blogging by the "it's gotta be great" phenomenon. I'm sure other bloggers are familiar with this - you put off blogging something for a few days, and then you feel that because you procrastinated it has to be a really good entry, and then you put it off for a few more days, and then you feel like now it's got to be a GREAT entry, and it snowballs from there. But, as the president of Cantilena said, I am rather Bizet right now. That's my excuse!

So, this non-great entry is just to celebrate the fact that I am the new director of BOTH:

Cantilena, a women's chorale that meets in Arlington on Monday evenings. I am so excited about this group! They are really sharp - they learned the piece I brought into my audition like nobody's business, and their spring concert was stellar. (That is a pun, for anyone who was there.) I get to keep exploring women's choral repertoire, which has always been one of my interests, and I have my very own chorus! Woohoo! Also, the group as a whole is very interested in new music. Clearly this was meant to be.


The Notables, a women's a cappella group that meets in the Lexington/Wellesley area every Wednesday morning and performs at local senior centers and rest homes. (We will have a website up soon here, although nothing is there yet.) The repertoire is fun pop and jazz standards, and they even have very cute choreography, which I will do my best not to mess with, not being a choreographer! I'm very excited that they focus on volunteer performances for seniors, too; I'm happy to have found a group that puts together making great music with reaching out to the community.

So, next year is going to be very exciting for me! I won't deny being a little nervous, but also very happy and excited. I'm also going to try and curb my other activities, particularly theatrical ones, so that my schedule doesn't get so hectic. We'll see how that goes. (All my friends are rolling their eyes right now.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Jackson

Jay Smooth gives his thoughts on Michael Jackson's passing - this is well, well worth watching even if Michael Jackson was not a big part of your life, as he was not a big part of mine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday link

In honor of Carmen, which is opening this weekend, this week's link is opera-related.

The New York Times has a very interesting article about the difficulties the Met encounters in casting opera stars. They have to be cast years in advance, and of course that leaves a lot of time for things to go wrong.

The New York Times site requires you to log in, so feel free to use the following:
username: letmeinpiggy
password: chinnychin

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Weekend Concert Calendar...not

So, Weekend Concert Calendar is going to go on hiatus until September. Almost all the local choruses are on hiatus until the fall, so there's not a lot to report. Go to a Summer Sing, and when September rolls around, I'll start posting concert lists again!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tuesday link

Instead of a Monday link, have a Tuesday link!

This week we have a bit of news (that is, admittedly, about a month old.) Joseph Jennings has retired as the music director of Chanticleer. He's been there for 26 years. We'll see what happens next!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy July 4th!

I've probably posted this before, but it's worth posting again. Happy July 4th, everyone!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday cat post!

Dispatch from my brother:

"Oomi likes to play pool. First she was confused as to where the pool balls go when you sink them (the table has the system where they go down tubes and end up in a tray under one end of the table). Then she decided she would just sit on the table and when a ball got near a hole, she would pounce on it and drive it into the hole."

Where did the ball go?

It must be down there...if I can!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer Sings!

Well, the summer is not exactly new, but here are the remaining summer sings in the area! Let me know if I missed anything, and I will add it to the list (so, this post may change over the next few weeks; feel free to check back!)

Tuesday, July 7, at 8 pm
Bach's Magnificat
Conducted by Katherine FitzGibbon, hosted by The Masterworks Chorale

Monday, July 13, at 8 pm
Handel's Messiah (selections)
Conducted by William Sano, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Tuesday, July 14 at 8 pm
Faure's Requiem
Conducted by Steven Karidoyanes, hosted by The Masterworks Chorale

Monday, July 20, at 8 pm
Verdi's Manzoni Requiem
Conducted by Dirk Hillyer, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Tuesday, July 21, at 8 pm
Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass
Conducted by Amy Lieberman, hosted by The Masterworks Chorale

Monday, July 27, at 8 pm
Mozart's Requiem
Conducted by Robert Russell, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Tuesday, July 28, at 8 pm
Vivaldi's Gloria
Conducted by Jane Ring Frank, hosted by The Masterworks Chorale

Monday, August 3, at 7:30 pm
Mozart's Requiem
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica

Monday, August 3, at 8 pm
Brahms' Requiem
Conducted by David Callahan, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Tuesday, August 4, at 8 pm
Mendelssohn's Elijah
Conducted by Anne Watson Born, hosted by The Masterworks Chorale

Monday, August 10, at 7:30 pm
Durufle's Requiem
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica

Monday, August 10, at 8 pm
Faure's Requiem
Conducted by Max Hobart, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Monday, August 17, at 7:30 pm
Poulenc's Gloria
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica

Monday, August 17, at 8 pm
Orff's Carmina Burana
Conducted by Jeffrey Brody, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Monday, August 24, at 7:30 pm
Haydn's Creation (abridged)
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica

Monday, August 24, at 8 pm
Mendelssohn's Elijah (choral selections)
Conducted by Valerie Taylor, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Monday, August 31, at 8 pm
Rutter's Requiem and Vivaldi's Gloria
Conducted by Paul Madore, hosted by the Paul Madore Chorale

Weekend Concert Calendar, 7/2/09...sorta

So, it's summer. This means there is not a ton of choral music going on in Boston, since most of the choruses disband for the summer. There are some neat concert series, but they are mostly for chamber music of various sorts. And you can always go out to Tanglewood - here's their vocal schedule.

And on top of that, it's July 4th weekend! So I got nuthin'. If you are brave, go out to the Esplanade, listen to the concert, and watch the fireworks. If you believe discretion is the better part of valor, then enjoy your personal celebrations. Either way, I hope your weekend features good food and good company!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Zefiro concerts!

So, that last entry where I mentioned that I was not always very good about publishing my concerts? Yes, well...

Last night (oops), tonight (oops) and tomorrow night (maybe you can come!) Zefiro is performing three concerts as part of the SoHIP (Society for Historically Informed Performance) summer concert series in the greater Boston area. Last night we were in Weston; tonight we sang in Andover; and tomorrow we will be performing at Lindsey Chapel in Emmanuel Church right in downtown Boston.

This is the same programme we performed in the spring, but we've swapped out a few pieces and added a few new ones, and I have to say, it is a great programme, and it flows beautifully. I hope you can come!

I will be leaving Zefiro at the end of the summer; this past year was overwhelmingly busy, and I've had a few new projects enter my life, so something had to go, and it was the group that rehearses in another state. We have one concert in August at Taylor House, but other than that, this will be my last concert with these guys! It's rather sad; they're a fun group of people, and singing Renaissance music with top-notch singers is so enjoyable. So this is one of your last chances to hear me sing with them!