Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday cat post! Oomi edition

Since I spent my holiday break at my brother's house (I headed back towards home yesterday) it seems only fair to have an Oomi update! She is still a psycho skittish kitty; I didn't get to pet her the whole time I was here! But also still cute.

This is her first experience of snow. My brother reports she was not a fan.

Luckily she knows how to keep warm!

And the snow did not dampen her Christmas spirit.

Also, via my brother, a movie filmed entirely by cats! Very cute. I think I find the kitty-sounds the most endearing part of the whole thing, although the focus is on what the cats see.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar - not.

Eh? Weekend Concert Calendar? I am on vacation and am way too lazy! Go check out the First Night schedule and check back next year! Go on, shoo! Need advice? Go to this one!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday link

In honor of the Christmas season, may I recommend this excellent short story by Connie Willis about aliens and Christmas carols? Hat-tip to JTL and MLR.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday cat post!

Tomorrow I leave Samson for a whole week; the longest time I have ever left him. He has a responsible and affectionate cat-sitter, but I'm still very worried about him being lonely, since he pretty much wants attention all the time. Hopefully he will get in some good naps, decimate his toy mice, and perhaps...use his scratching post?

And now, for the grand finale:

(In the background you can see my bikes, which I had to bring inside before
the first serious snowfall, and which are now taking up my entire living room.)

Resting in the knowledge of a post well-scratched!
(You can see bits of fluff lying behind him on the floor.)

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/24/10 - not

No Weekend Concert Calendar this weekend, as there is SOME major holiday I can't remember quite WHAT geez I wonder what it could BE and therefore nobody has scheduled any concerts. There will be many beautiful church services with lovely singing, but investigating them and listing them is beyond my scope. If you are in the South Shore area, I encourage you to come and hear my own lovely choir tonight at 7 pm at First Parish Cohasset; we will be singing selections from Conrad Susa's Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest. Otherwise, may you have a very merry Christmas tomorrow, and a lovely holiday season, and may your turkey, tofurkey or Chinese food be absolutely delicious!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday links - Flash Mob edition


Flash choirs are a variation on flash mobs. I have linked to them before. But I think they have probably hit their peak this season; I have gotten innumerable e-mails about the food court Messiah alone. I am sure we will soon be swamped with every community choir in the nation staging their own flash choir. Here are a few more.

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob sings Hallelujah Chorus in Canada.

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture in Philly.

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Flash Brindisi!" in Philly at the Reading Terminal Market.

Add your own in the comments!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday cat post

This series of pictures of Samson was also taken by my friend Michelle, who is way better with the camera than I am! One of his favorite toys is string. (His main favorite toy is his little mice, but he is not interested in playing with those with me; I try to kick them around or throw them and he is NOT interested.)

Little panther!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/16/10

'Twas the weekend before Christmas and all through the city
Choruses gathered to sing pretty songs and ditties.

OK, that was pretty bad. But the fact remains that this is your last weekend of holiday concerts! I am going to pick out some of my favorite early music groups, but you have a lot of varied options.

Friday: On Friday, check out Exsultemus as they explore Portuguese music from the Renaissance and Baroque. At the First Lutheran Church in Boston at 8 pm.

Also on Friday: Boston Camerata, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Chorus Pro Musica.

Saturday: On Saturday, let Blue Heron away from Portugal to 15th-century France. At First Church Congregational, Cambridge, at 8 pm.

Also on Saturday: Boston Camerata, Boston Choral Ensemble, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Concord Women's Chorus, Lyricora, The Oriana Consort, Treble Chorus of New England.

Sunday: On Sunday check out Handel & Haydn's "A Bach Christmas" concert. At 3 pm at NEC's Jordan Hall in Boston.

Sunday: Boston Boy Choir, Boston Camerata, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Boston Saengerfest Men's Chorus, Brookline Chorus, The Copley Singers, Handel & Haydn Society, Lyricora, Nashoba Valley Chorale, the Paul Madore Chorale, Youth Pro Musica.

And don't forget to check out my Messiah sings post! There are a number of sings happening this weekend, most notably Masterworks Chorale's Messiah Sings. Also, the Christmas Revels begins today; they are always worth going to, and fun for the whole family, young and old.

Did I forget anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday link

Daniel Radcliffe sings Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" as FAST as you have ever heard. Good-looking, talented actor, AND he says Tom Lehrer is his hero. Hard to argue with that! Hat tip to my dad.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/9/10

This is the most packed concert weekend of the year. Christmas concerts galore! There is no way to choose between them, so I am going to let nostalgia and blatant favoritism play a part, as well as considerations for what will engage your whole family (all the choices below are crowd-pleasers.)

Friday: On Friday night, check out the Boston Cecilia concert in the historic Church of the Advent. (I worked for this group for several years, and conductor Don Teeters never disappoints.) This is the concert to bring all your loved ones to in order to bask in some beautiful seasonal music.

Also on Friday: Boston Baroque, Boston Cecilia, Boston College's Voices of Imani, the Boston Conservatory Choruses, the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society, Highrock Benefit Concert.

Saturday: On Saturday, go see Musica Sacra's family-friendly "Welcome All That Make Good Cheer" concert. It starts at 7, so you can get the kids home at a reasonable hour! They are getting the nod for two reasons; one is that I just love Musica Sacra's programming, and the other is that they offered me comps. (I am unable to take them up on it, but appreciate the gesture! Hint, hint.) If you have no kids and have an extremely strong constitution, you also might consider the Back Bay Chorale's mammoth production of Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

Also on Saturday: Back Bay Chorale, Cappella Clausura, the Concord Chorale, the Concord Chorus, the DeVaronistas, Highrock Benefit Concert, Musica Sacra, Neponset Choral Society, Providence Singers, Somerville Community Chorus, Vox Lucens.

Sunday: On Sunday, go see Cappella Clausura; there will be music AND dance. This program was so well received in years past that they are bringing it back, joining once more with Creationdance for "Gloria! A Renaissance Christmas Pagaent." This also is a great show for the whole family. And I am an alum of the group, so go say hi from me!

Also on Sunday: Arlington-Belmont Chorale, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Cambridge Chamber Singers, Cambridge Community Chorus, Canto Armonico, Cappella Clausura, the Concord Chorale, Highrock Benefit Concert, the Master Singers of Lexington, Neponset Choral Society, The Oriana Consort, Quincy Choral Society, St. Peter's Weston Choir, Trinity Church Choirs in Copley Square.

And although I have a policy of not giving shout-outs to concerts that are not inside Rt. 95 (merely to keep my sanity with regards to concerts in NE) I am going to be at the Concord Chorale concert on Saturday in NH (they also are giving a concert on Sunday.) Come say hi if you are up there!

Did I miss anything? Inconceivable! Leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ticket giveaway!

We have another ticket giveaway! If you would like to see the Boston Cecilia perform this Friday or Sunday (and in my opinion this is going to be one of the most classic, elegant, beautiful concerts of the Christmas season) be the first person to leave a comment, and include the name to hold the ticket under, and which day you prefer.

Yay, free beautiful music! How can you pass this up?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Messiah Sings Calendar!

Hallelujah! Here it is, the annual Messiah Sing post! This is a list of all the Messiah Sings in the Boston area. Sadly, some of them have passed (my apologies for not getting this post up last week!) But there are still plenty to come. If I missed one, or if you have further information about one of the sings listed, please leave a comment. I will edit the post to include updates; edits will appear in bold type.

Fri. 12/3: UMass Lowell Messiah Sing. Optional rehearsal at 6 pm; performance at 7:30 pm. At Durgin Concert Hall, UMass Lowell. Directed by Murray Kidd. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here. (Passed.)

Sun. 12/5: Messiah Sing to benefit Project Bread. 2 pm. At All Saints Parish, Brookline. Tickets $10. Directed by Amy Lieberman; full orchestra and soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. (Passed.)

Sun. 12/5: St. Paul's Episcopal Church Messiah Sing. 5 pm. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brookline. More info here. (Passed.)

Wed. 12/8: Brandeis University Messiah Sing. 4 pm. At the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium, Brandeis University. With orchestra. More info here.

Thurs. 12/9: The Roxbury Latin School Messiah Sing. 7:30 pm. At Rousmaniere Hall, Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury. Free. With soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Thurs. 12/9: Annual Dunster House Messiah Sing. 8:00 pm. At Dunster House, Harvard University. Free and open to the public. More info here.

Sat. 12/11: Messiah Sing to benefit Healing Hands for Haiti. 8:00 pm. At St. John's Episcopal Church, Jamaica Plain. Tickets $10. Directed by Isaac Kramer, with orchestra and soloists. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: Sudbury Memorial Congregational Church Annual Messiah Sing. 3:00 pm. At Sudbury Memorial Congregational Church, Sudbury. Free; suggested donation of $10. With orchestra and soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: Carter Memorial United Methodist Church Messiah Sing. 3 pm. At the Carter Memorial United Methodist Church, Needham. With orchestra. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: Assabet Valley Mastersingers Annual Messiah Sing. 3:30 pm. At Trinity Church, Northborough. $5 suggested donation. With soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/12: St. Peter's Church in Weston Messiah Sing. 4:00 pm. At St. Peter's Church, Weston. Free. Directed by Beverly Jerold Scheibert, with soloists. Limited scores available, or bring your own. More info here.

Wed. 12/15: Cathedral Church of St. Paul Annual Messiah Sing. 12 pm. At the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, downtown Boston. Directed by Dr. Delvyn Case. More info here.

Fri. 12/17: Masterworks Chorale Annual Messiah Sing. (Also Saturday.) 8:00 pm. At Cary Hall, Lexington. Suggested donation $10. Directed by Steven Karidoyanes. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Fri. 12/17: First Parish Congregational Church of Wakefield Messiah Sing. 7:30 pm. At First Parish Congregational Church of Wakefield. More info here.

Sat. 12/18: Masterworks Chorale Annual Messiah Sing. (Also Friday.) 8:00 pm. At Cary Hall, Lexington. Suggested donation $10. Directed by Steven Karidoyanes. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Friends of the Performing Arts in Concord (FOPAC) Annual Messiah Sing. 2 pm. At 51 Walden, Concord. Tickets $15 ($10 seniors). Directed by Alan Yost; with soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Harvard Unitarian Church Annual Messiah Sing. 5:00 pm. At the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church, Harvard. Directed by Ted Johnson; with full orchestra and soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here (click on the calendar).

Sun. 12/19: Cambridge Community Chorus Messiah Sing. 1:00 pm. At the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Tickets $10. Limited scores available, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Nashoba Valley Chorale Messiah Sing. 3:00 pm. At the Congregational Church of Littleton. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

Sun. 12/19: Belmont Open Sings Messiah Sing. 7:30 pm. (Weather make-up date is Mon. 12/20.) At the Payson Park Church, Belmont. Tickets $10. Directed by Mary Beekman; with soloists. Scores provided, or bring your own. More info here.

And, to get you in the spirit, a little Messiah tidbit provided by my dad:

Macy's of Philadelphia occupies a store originally built in 1910. It features a ten story marble atrium at its center, with a layer cake of balconies surrounding three sides of the atrium. The fourth side houses the world's largest functioning pipe organ, with 28,000 pipes concealed behind a screen. With the advent of loud speakers the pipe organ fell into unplayable disrepair. When Macy's took over the building, they put millions into refurbishing the organ. It takes two full time folks to keep it in fine tune. As part of Random Acts of Culture, the Philadelphia Opera Company joined the organ in the Hallelujah Chorus earlier this year.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday cat post!

Wow, a Friday cat post! When was the last time we had one of those?

My friend Michelle took some great photos last month of Samson, including many shots of him playing.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 12/2/10

Hi-ho, Kermit de frog here, with your weekend concert calendar. This weekend's calendar is brought to you by the letters X, M, A, and S. There is one CLEAR front-runner for concert-going this weekend, and that is the Cantilena concert on Sunday! But it is just barely possible that there is some other stuff going on too.

Friday: Why not check out the Handel & Haydn Society's performance of Handel's Messiah? Harry Christophers is directing, and everyone will want to see what he does with it! If you miss it on Friday, it's also on Saturday and Sunday.

Also on Friday: Boston College University Chorale, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, New England Classical Singers.

Saturday: Tough call; but if you need a respite from the Christmas onslaught, check out the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus's production of Haydn's "Maria Theresa" Mass.

Also on Saturday: Sing with the Boston Pops!, The A Cappella Singers, Cantemus, Handel & Haydn Society, Harvard Pro Musica, Old North Festival Chorus, Polymnia Society, Vox Lucens.

Sunday: It is tempting to put this paragraph in blinking text, but I will refrain. MY CHORUS, Cantilena, is performing on Sunday afternoon! 3 pm, First Parish Arlington in Arlington Center (630 Mass. Ave.) We are performing Holst's Hymns from the Rig Veda, Group 3 and Brahms' Four Choruses for Women's Chorus, Horns and Harp and some of John Rutter's Dancing Day carols, and some awesome stuff by Thompson, and some great stuff by Gawthrop, and we have a FABULOUS harpist, and my singers have all been working hard like champs, and it is going to be BEYOOTIFUL. Come hear us work our tails off to sound effortless (the program is titled "Transcendence".) PLEASE COME. I know I should knock off the capitalization, but it is a long week.

Also on Sunday: Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus, Annual JP Pub Carol Sing, Boston Camerata, Boston College University Chorale, Cantemus, Cappella Clausura, the Choral Arts Society, Dedham Choral Society, Handel & Haydn Society, Highland Glee Club, Messiah Sing to benefit Project Bread, Nashoba Valley Chorale, Old North Festival Chorus, Tufts University Choruses, Zamir Chorale.

Did I forget anything? Probably! Leave it in the comments.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday link

From Steve Martin...Atheists Don't Have No Songs. A cappella harmony!

One quibble with the lyrics; even as an atheist, I don't get to sleep in on Sundays. I'm guess I'm doin' it wrong!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/26/10 - not.

No choral concerts in Boston this weekend - all the choral singers are eating food and gathering their strength for the craziness of December. Go check out BEMF's production of Dido and Aeneas this weekend, and check back in next week as the December craziness rolls forth. A Messiah Sings post will be coming soon (maybe this weekend if I get my act together!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday link

Ah, well, even if it's technically Tuesday it still counts as a Monday link, right?

On Dec. 4, go to Boylston Plaza in front of the Pru at noon. Keith Lockhart wants to break a world record for largest number of carolers. And "but I'm such a bad singer!" is no excuse. There will be over 7,000 other people there to drown you out. And wouldn't you like to get a Guinness World Record for singing?

(Cantilena members, please note, this does not apply to you as you should be in our dress rehearsal at that time for our concert the following day!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/18/10

Hi folks,

Sorry, no Weekend Concert Calendar this week. Flu plus an extremely busy week means no time! Check out the Mystic Chorale and Zamir Chorale's joint concert this weekend; other than that, I will get back on the bandwagon next week. (And send me your Messiah Sing information - a big ol' Messiah Sing post will be coming up in the beginning of December.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/11/10

Do you know a veteran? (I should think most of us do.) Treat them to a concert this weekend!


I have nothing for Friday. Nothing! Very weird. In the absence of any straight-up choral concerts, I recommend going to see the Boston Opera Collaborative's production of Mark Adamo's Little Women. I have heard good things, and will be checking it out myself this weekend.


For Saturday, among many delightful offerings the Spectrum Singers are offering a totally fascinating program called "Sound the Trumpets!"; fascinating because I am unfamiliar with much of the repertoire they are presenting, and that always makes for a good time. From their publicity material:

"[The concert will include] Joseph Jongen's Mass for Chorus, Brass and Organ. Come hear why Jongen was considered a superb colorist and genius of form, harmony, and melody. The Mass is absolutely beautiful and moving. Also hear Marcel Dupré's Poème Héroïque for organ, brass and drum plus festive choral music by Lili Boulanger, William Mathias, Daniel Pinkham, Virgil Thomson and William Walton. With Heinrich Christensen on organ and a special pre-concert talk by Steve Ledbetter at 7:00." The concert is at 8 pm at First Church Congregational, Cambridge.

Also on Saturday: Cappella Clausura, the Salisbury Singers, the Assabet Valley Mastersingers, the Boston Children's Chorus, the Wellesley College Choir.


Check out Cappella Clausura's production of Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum. A liturgical drama, it is one of her major works and contains some of her most beloved chants. Cappella Clausura has updated this ancient play for modern audiences; in their version, "a soul interviews for a job at the Devil's corporation. Can she resist a tempting offer, or will she join a virtuous non-profit? Come find out in this unforgettable new production!" 5 pm at First Lutheran Church in Boston. Also on Saturday in Newton.

Also on Sunday: Cappella Clausura,the Paul Madore Chorale, the Boston Russian Chorus and Festival Singers, the Brandeis University Chamber Choir.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday link

This one's for all the organists! I am sure you will all relate. (Warning: sound is NSFW.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday cat post!

Today my friend Michelle helped me out with the camera, so you get a rare shot of me and Samson together!

"What do you think? Headbutt?"

"Of course!"

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/4/10

Let's just dive right in, shall we?

Friday: On Friday, I recommend going to see Masterworks Chorale present Handel's oratorio Alexander's Feast. The soloists will be excellent - soprano Teresa Wakim, tenor Jason McStoots, and baritone Sumner Thompson - and the Treble Chorus of New England will also be featured. At 8 pm at Sanders Theatre.

Also on Friday: BSO w/ the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Cantata Singers, University Chorale of Boston College.

Saturday: Go to the BSO! In addition to Brahms' Symphony No. 2, they will be performing the rarely-heard Atlàntida (“Atlantis”) by Manuel de Falla. Sung in Catalan, this work is about the lost continent of Atlantis and its subsequent rediscovery by Columbus. This concert will be Friday, Saturday and Tuesday at Symphony Hall at 8 pm.

Also on Saturday: The Master Singers of Lexington, BSO w/ the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Cantata Singers, Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, Night Song Schola.

Sunday: It's a weekend for big choral works! On Sunday I recommend the Chorus pro Musica concert, featuring Dvorak's Mass in D as well as works by Janáček, Duruflé, and Holst. 3 pm at Old South Church in Boston.

Also on Sunday: Candlelight Chorale, Divi Zheni.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday link

This has been making the rounds, though hat-tip to EG for being the first to let me know about it.

Here, the musical talent of the next generation! (I would actually love to see him in front of a professional orchestra; how much fun would everyone have? I bet that would be a very positive feedback loop, and a hugely energetic performance!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 10/28/10

Because of Halloween weekend, not so many choral concerts going on, but still enough to fill your dance card!

Friday: On Friday, take a little hike down to Providence to hear Zefiro, a group of eight Renaissance singers. They will be stretching their repertoire with a program called "Meditations," which will include Arvo Pärt's Prayer after the Canon, as well as a cappella works by Parry, Brahms, and more. If you don't want to trek down to Providence to hear them on Friday at 8 pm at St. Stephen's Church, check them out at 8 pm on Saturday closer to home, at the Nave Gallery in Somerville.

Saturday: Or on Saturday, you could also check out the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and Radcliffe Choral Society as they present a program called "Exuberance and Elegance," featuring classics of Tudor England and new America. This concert is a big deal, as it is the debut of Andrew Clark, the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities at Harvard. Sanders Theatre, 8 pm!

Sunday: The Boston Camerata will team up with the choral fellows of the Harvard University Choir to present works by Dufay, Josquin, Marenzio, and Monteverdi. At Memorial Church on the Harvard campus, 4 pm.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 10/21/10

How ironic that I write this entry with earplugs in my ears to blog out the music from my upstairs neighbor, who apparently only ever listens to one piece. Or at least music with one exactly-the-same bass beat. Anyways, moving on. What should you be listening to this weekend?

Friday: Of course on Friday I choose myself! Come to the Schola Cantorum concert tomorrow night (today, by the time you read this) at 8 pm at St. John's on Bowdoin St. in Boston. We will be doing a pile of English Tudor music, including Byrd's Mass for 4 Voices. And I have a solo on one of the Tomkins pieces! We are repeating this concert in Rhode Island on Saturday and Sunday; see the website for details.

Saturday: Since both were gracious enough to give away tickets on this blog, obviously Saturday is a tie between Musica Sacra (Rutter's Requiem! Schütz's Musikalisches Exequien!) and the Boston Cecilia (Mendelssohn! Schubert!) Musica Sacra is at 8 pm at the First Congregational Church in Cambridge, and the Boston Cecilia is at 8 pm at All Saints Parish in Brookline.

Also on Saturday: Power Sing with Nick Page, Brandeis University Chorus.

Sunday: On Sunday, go see Simon Carrington direct Canto Armonico and members of the Harvard Baroque Orchestra in a performance of a new critical edition of CPE Bach's Magnificat at 3 pm at First Lutheran Church in Boston.

Did I forget anything? Leave it in the comments!

Ticket winners!

I'm happy to announce the winners of the ticket giveaway. Shannon Rose is going to the Boston Cecilia concert, and Curious Patient is going to the Musica Sacra concert. Curious Patient, could you please e-mail me your real name? Otherwise you will have to go to will-call and ask for the tickets being held under Curious Patient. For real, I'm telling their manager that tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ticket giveaway!

This is a very special week, as we have TWO ticket giveaways for concerts this weekend! They are on the same day, but life is full of tough choices.

The first concert is Musica Sacra, who have paired two great works together for what will no doubt be a very intense evening. They will be performing John Rutter's 20th century Requiem with the 17th century Musikalische Exequien by Heinrich Schütz. This concert is this coming Saturday, 10/23, at 8 pm, at the First Congregational Church in Cambridge (close to Harvard Square.)

The second concert is The Boston Cecilia, who are going Romantic with a program of Mendelssohn and Schubert. Tenor William Hite will be featured on the program, as well as pianist Barbara Bruns and up-and-coming mezzo-soprano Eileen Christiansen. (Please note: even if you don't win this pair of tickets, you can still get a two-for-one deal deal on the Boston Cecilia website if you use the code OCT50.) This concert will also be this coming Saturday, 10/23, at 8 pm at All Saints Parish in Brookline.

If you want a pair of free tickets to either of these concerts, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday at 6 pm, and tell me which concert you would want to go to, and what the last choral concert you attended was. I will choose one comment at random for each of the free pair of tickets. (Although if you truthfully tell me you have never been to a choral concert, I am throwing the random thing out the window and you are definitely getting one of the pairs!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday link

You may have heard by now of the "It Gets Better" project. Started by always NSFW sex advice columnist Dan Savage and in honor of Billy Lucas, a queer teen who committed suicide in September, this project asks LGBTQ folk to make a video talking to younger LGBTQ people who may be threatened, harassed, bullied, depressed, or otherwise going through tough times, to encourage them, tell them they are not alone, and assure them that their lives will get better. Many, many folks have contributed wonderful videos already, including both celebrities like Tim Gunn and my own friends.

Here is NYC's Youth Pride Chorus and their contribution to the It Gets Better Project.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday cat post!

Let's check in with Oomi, shall we? What's she been up to?

Well, as you may remember, she is now a sometimes-outdoor kitty! Time for a game of Where's Waldo Oomi?

But she's not outdoors all the time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 10/14/10

It has BEGUN. In my opinion, at least. The choruses, they are rolling out their first concerts, and the season is off to a good start! This is also the first week I will be challenged to stick to my new format, where I recommend only one concert per day. I know it's going to be good for getting a decent amount of sleep on Thursday nights, but it's hard to choose!

Friday: I think I have to pick the concert I'm going to, right? Probably the only concert I will get to this month that I am not performing in. BEMF presents Stile Antico, a Renaissance choir from Britain. Publicity folks make a big deal of the fact that they have no conductor and are self-directed, but with a dozen Renaissance singers having no conductor is pretty much the only right way to do it in my opinion (somebody up there conducting music with no bar lines only gets in the way); more exciting to me is the fact that they are supposed to be truly excellent.

Also on Friday: the Orpheus Singers.

Saturday: This is a good weekend for Renaissance music! If you go to Stile Antico on Friday, then you can go to the Blue Heron concert on Saturday and see how the home team holds up against them furriners! They will be singing music by Ludford and Aston from the Peterhouse Partbooks. Blue Heron are hot stuff; if you love early music and you have never been to one of their concerts, then you should be ashamed of yourself! And fix that this weekend.

Also on Saturday: the Orpheus Singers, Lorelei Ensemble, Boston Conservatory Combined Choruses.

Sunday: My pick for Sunday is "Halleluyah" at Emmanuel Church. Boston Jewish Spirit and Emmanuel are presenting an interfaith concert, featuring the Zamir Chorale under Joshua Jacobson, the Orpheus Singers under James Olesen (who are also giving two other concerts this weekend, see above) and the Spectrum Singers under John Ehrlich. This concert is a program of choral music celebrating the sesquicentennial of Emmanuel Church and the fifth anniversary of Boston Jewish Spirit. All three of these groups are great; all of them together should be fantastic!

Also on Sunday: King's Chapel Choir and Soloists, the Seraphim Singers, Belmont Open Sings, Music Arts Alive, Vox Lucens, Harvard University Choir, Cappella Clausura.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday link

RIP, Joan Sutherland. Thanks to friend AS for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 10/7/10

It's Columbus Day weekend, so concerts are still a little thin on the ground (didn't find any choral concerts on Friday night) but next week things really get rolling!

Saturday: Check out the BSO's performance of Mahler's 2nd, "The Resurrection Symphony" at 8 pm. Levine is back on the podium, and everyone is all a-flutter! (Also next Tuesday.)

Sunday: Exsultemus performs the Italian madrigals of Palestrina at 3 pm. (Also Saturday at 8 pm.) This is their core repertoire; it should be exquisite.

Also on Sunday: the monthly Boston Sacred Harp sing.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Monday link

It's not choral, but it sure is fun! The comedy troupe Axis of Awesome explains the Four Chord Song. NSFW! (Stand-up comedy, you know.)

(I'm not sure this is a fair critique of pop songs of the last 40 years, since it completely leaves out any variation that might exist in the bridge, for one thing, but it's still hilarious.)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday cat post!

So, I am sadly aware that I have missed the last two Friday cat posts. And you all must be wondering how Samson is. (Or, y'know, not.) Samson is fine...the dirty truth is that it turns out I am terrible at taking pictures of him. I mean, really. They are not good pictures.

To fix this, I think we should have WAY MORE guest spots on this blog. Do you have a cat? Want your cat to have its 15 minutes of fame? (Er, "fame"?) Drop me a comment, and we'll tawk.

In the meantime, here is an example of why I need photographic help. This is Samson trying to scratch his face on my feet. I mean, it's cute, but really, it's not an aesthetically pleasing photograph.

In other cat news, I was introduced to the funniest cat-related website ever by my new organist. (That deserves a whole excited entry of its own!) It is a website called "Simon's Cat" and features wonderful animated films about a very, er, personality-filled cat. The first one is a classic. Samson behaves quite a lot like this in the morning, although luckily without the denouement, and happily for me only when he perceives that I am waking up anyways. I also recommend this one for my mother in particular, who may recall a similar incident.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 10/1/10

Hm. Choral concerts are thin on the ground this weekend, let me tell you. I can only offer you a couple of options on Sunday. (Friday and Saturday I suggest you explore other musical genres.)

On Sunday at 2:30 pm, you could attend one of the Cantata Singers Chamber Series concerts, titled "Vocal Chamber Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Friends." It will be at the Edward M. Pickman concert hall at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

Or, you could go to the Paretsky Center at Simmons College in Boston, and hear "Jaguza! Celebrate the Children of Uganda" where the Ugandan Martyrs Choir will perform with other native African singers to benefit the Malaka Fund, a non-profit based in Jamaica Plain.

That's all I got!

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday links

busy day today STOP no time for full sentences STOP go read about clothing and posture STOP interesting that they chose to do that first experiment with women not men don't you think STOP samson sends his greetings

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 9/23/10

Concerts are not yet thick on the ground, this being September, but what there is is quality stuff!

On Friday, be sure to go to Emmanuel Music's performance of Alexander's Feast by Handel. This is new music director Ryan Turner's debut concert with the group, so you will want to be there to check him out! The usual roster of extraordinary singers will be there, along with the choir and orchestra, and the estimable and amiable Donald Teeters will be giving the pre-concert lecture at 7 pm. Located at Emmanuel Church in Boston, naturally.

On Saturday, go support Blue Heron by attending their Season Preview Event. Starting at 6 pm in the Chapel of the Episcopal Divinity School, you can hear samples of the 2010-2011 season, have some food and drink, and meet the musicians.

On Sunday, you can attend Opera Harvest, a gala benefit for the Boston Singer's Resource. The Boston Singer's Resource is a great, well, resource for singers in Boston - for one thing, they are one of the primary websites I use to create this here Weekend Concert Calendar, and for another, they are my primary source for audition notices. In addition to the venerable Robert Honeysucker, some of Boston's best young singers will be performing, including my fellow Anthology member Michelle Vachon! The festivities start at 3 pm at the Hamilton-Wenham Community House in South Hamilton.

Also this weekend on Friday and Saturday, check out the Contemporary Americana Festival.

Did I miss something? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday link

I kind of fell down on the Weekend Concert Calendar and the Friday cat post last week. Oh, well, this week is a new week. Samson is still doing well; he got cat grass today, which he seems to like. (This seemed a good idea after I noticed him chomping on my bamboo plant.)

Today's link is the group Cantus singing "There is Sweet Music Here" by Daniel Gawthrop. Very lovely performance. (Cantilena singing this piece in December, along with his classic "Sing Me to Heaven.")

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quick audition thoughts

Cantilena just had our first round of auditions last night (there are two more weeks of auditions, so you still have a chance to try us out!) This means that today I got to call people and tell them that they were either in or out. I try to do this on the phone, because it just feels like I owe them at least that much.

And I want to say that I LOVE it when people say, "Can you tell me why I didn't get in?" YES! I can! And I really want to! Because I want you to continue to sing, and I want you to have an honest picture of your own voice, and I especially want to give you lots of advice on how to improve, so nothing would make me happier than to tell you why you didn't get in. In a gentle and constructive way, of course. If I just spent 20 minutes discussing your voices with members of my chorus last night, I definitely want to spend 2 minutes today discussing it with you.

So. It might feel awkward, people, and you might want to get away, or get off the phone as soon as possible, but please, ask me why you didn't get in! I will tell you. And honestly, I think it usually makes people feel better. The truth will not hurt as much as your own imagination.

This is on my mind because all the people I had to turn down today asked this question, and I thought it was very excellent and brave of them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday link

You thought reviews of classical CDs were boring? Think again, my friend. And then check out Vice Magazine's reviews of recently released classical CDs. Pretty hilarious. Via Life's a Pitch, who gives you a rundown of the highlights. Be sure not to miss the very last review.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday cat post!

Samson is looking around because I am putting his dinner on the floor.

Also, via various sources, check out IKEA's new ad involving 100 cats let loose in an IKEA store. Here's a video about the ad being made; here's the ad.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


While I am thinking about it, I'm interested in doing more ticket giveaways on the blog this year. So, consider having your chorus donate a pair or a pair of pairs of tickets; I'll announce the concert on the blog during your performance week, and whoever comments first gets free tickets. Run it by your chorus manager and let me know.

Weekend Concert Calendar, 9/9/10

Not too much going on this weekend, as the year is just getting rolling. However, you should be auditioning for choruses! Check out the Boston Choral Consortium's website first; then also look at the Boston Globe. And good luck at your auditions!


7:30 pm: Calliope; "Pious" - works by Copland, Mendelssohn, and more. Old West Church, Boston.

[As I mentioned, I'm going to be starting a new, less time-consuming format for the concert calendar, but since I only found one choral-related concert this weekend, it's a little moot.]

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday link

OK! It's September! Time to throw off the the laziness of summer and get back to blogging! I am going to try to get back to regular Monday links, Thursday Weekend Concert Calendars, and Friday cat posts, hopefully with some actual content and thoughts sprinkled in there as well. Maybe on Tuesdays. The Weekend Concert Calendar format is going to change, though, so that it doesn't take me hours each week; I'll pick one concert per day that I think looks really stellar, and just list the names of the other ensembles who also have a concert on that day. (This saves time both with layout and data entry, and with googling countless churches to find their website addresses.) So I'm more imitating Jeremy Eichler's Classical Picks format.

Since it is Monday, here is your Monday link! This is courtesy of my mother. Freshman theory students of the world, memorize this and you have already aced your semester.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday cat post!

I am beginning to think that the only pose I will ever be able to catch Samson in is the pose of "I am baffled; why are you not petting me?"

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vocal Coaching for Choirs

This is a note for any conductors who happen to pop by the blog.

My voice teacher Emily Romney, who also teaches at Longy, is available to coach choruses and choirs in the area on vocal technique. She came to Cantilena last year, and worked with us on a number of issues including breathing, posture, diction, and getting rid of tension in the jaw and tongue. We were singing a lot of complex poetry last semester, so the diction was particularly helpful; I also got a lot of enthusiastic feedback from the chorus about how she helped improve their technique. She enjoyed working with us so much that she decided she would like to do this with other choruses, so she put together a PR sheet on what she is offering. I highly recommend having her come and do a session with your chorus; even if you are well-versed in vocal pedagogy, it's always useful for people to hear the same good ideas from a new source! Information is here.

PSA over! Time to go see how my cat is holding up in this heat. Did you know cats don't sweat? (Well, only through their paws, which is not so efficient.) However, Samson is currently lying in a sunny window, so apparently he's fine.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday cat post!

Finally - it is the day that (a few of) you have been waiting for! Time to new kitty!

This is Samson.

He is 2.5 years old, and I got him from a shelter a week and a half ago. He is very cuddly and fairly conversational; he is extremely good-natured; he is occasionally interested in playing, but pretty much always interested in having his head scritched, and if you use only one hand to do it, he will nudge the other hand because clearly that hand should be scritching him also. He also has the softest hair ever; petting him is an extremely addictive activity. He always wants to be near me, and follows me from room to room; he prefers to be curled up with some part of his body touching mine. He is, in short, totally darling.

"What are you doing with that clicking flashing contraption? Shouldn't you be scritching my head?"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cantilena auditions!

Like everyone else, Cantilena will be holding auditions this fall; we are looking for strong women singers in every voice part, and especially at the very high or very low ends. Here are the details!

Cantilena, a womenʹs chorale directed by yours truly, is an ensemble of approximately 30 singers dedicated to performing music written for the treble voice. Our challenging and diverse repertoire spans the fifteenth to the twenty‐first centuries and includes works in many different languages and musical forms. We strive for a harmonious blend of voices and musical excellence in our performances.

Our repertoire this fall includes Brahms' "Four Songs for Women's Chorus, Two Horns and Harp", Holst's "Choral Hymns from 'The Rig Veda', Group 3", selections from Randall Thompson's "The Place of the Blest," and two pieces by Daniel Gawthrop. Our spring will be a celebration of madrigals, concentrating on Roger Bourland's settings of texts by Dickinson and Alarcon. (Of course, there will be a dash of Morley and Weelkes as well, and also possibly...Kodaly? You'll have to just come and find out!)

Rehearsals are on Monday evenings from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM at the First Parish
Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington Center. The fall season runs from the first
Monday after Labor Day to the concert date in early December. The spring season runs
from the first Monday after New Yearʹs Day to the concert date in early May.
Cantilena holds open auditions at the start of each season. Members generally have
prior choral experience and either some sight‐reading ability or a very good ear. If you are interested in auditioning, we ask that you come to one of the first three rehearsals in September or January, sing with us, and then stay afterward for a brief audition with our artistic director (moi!) and audition committee. There is no need to reserve a spot, and no preparation is required. The audition consists of vocal exercises, tone matching, sight-reading, and singing a familiar tune of our choosing.

2010‐2011 Audition Schedule

Fall Season
September 13, 2010
September 20, 2010
September 27, 2010

Spring Season
January 3, 2011
January 10, 2011
January 17, 2011

Leave a comment if you are interested in more information!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Anthology in the recording studio!

Hear ye, hear ye! We are taking a break from our non-existent summer blogging to announce that my quartet Anthology is in the recording studio! And we are soliciting assistance - click here to find out how YOU, yes you, can help!

Things I believe I already knew, but forgot: wow, recording is exhausting. When we get done with an afternoon's session, I am completely wiped out. Good thing I don't have a busy summer!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday cat post!

Oomi continues her outdoor explorations!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday cat post!

My summer blogging has trickled to basically nil; I moved on July 1, and then promptly went to a week-long seminar on conducting at Eastman. I'm back now, and currently trying to dig myself out of boxes ("dig" being a term that I wish was closer to exaggeration) and meet some programming deadlines for next year. Things may pick up in August, so check back then. For now, I present a very exciting picture of Oomi - my brother reports that "Oomi is becoming an outdoor cat - she's exploring the deck for the first time!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Sings

Here is this year's list of Boston-area summer sings! As you can see, there's quite a lot to choose from, and you can sing Fauré's Requiem in particular as many times as your little heart desires. This is a great way to keep in vocal shape over the summer, so get out there and have some fun!

Tuesday, June 15 at 8 pm (passed)
Brahms' Requiem
Conducted by Steven Karidoyanes, hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Tuesday, June 22 at 8 pm (passed)
Fauré's Requiem
Conducted by Michael Turner,
hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Monday, June 28 at 8 pm
Brahms' Requiem
Conducted by Paul Madore, hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Tuesday, June 29 at 8 pm
Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass
Conducted by John Ehrlich
, hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Tuesday, July 6 at 8 pm
Orff's Carmina Burana
Conducted by Katherine FitzGibbon,
hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Monday, July 12 at 8 pm
Haydn's Mass in D Minor
Conducted by Valerie Taylor,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Tuesday, July 13 at 8 pm
Bach's Mass in B Minor (part 1, Kyrie and Gloria)
Conducted by Steven Karidoyanes,
hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Monday, July 19 at 8 pm
Mozart's Requiem
Conducted by David Callahan,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Tuesday, July 20 at 8 pm
Rutter's Requiem
Conducted by Jane Ring Frank, hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Wednesday, July 21 at 7:30 pm
Orff's Carmina Burana
Conducted by Barry Singer, hosted by the Arlington-Belmont Chorale
Arlington Center for the Arts , 41 Foster Street, Arlington

Monday, July 26 at 8 pm 7-9 pm
Fauré's Requiem and Schubert's Mass in G
Conducted by Danica Buckley, hosted by The Choral Art Society
First Parish Cohasset, 23 North Main St, Cohasset, MA
Edit: Note the time correction! Don't be an hour late!

Monday, July 26 at 8 pm
Handel's Messiah (selections)
Conducted by Dirk Hillyer, hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Tuesday, July 27 at 8 pm
Poulenc's Gloria
Conducted by Anne Watson Born, hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Monday, August 2 at 7:30 pm
Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica
Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Copley Square, Boston, MA

Monday, August 2 at 8 pm
Rutter's Requiem and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (vocal portions only)
Conducted by John Koza,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Tuesday, August 3 at 8 pm
Mozart's Requiem
Conducted by Amy Lieberman,
hosted by the Masterworks Chorale
Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center,
Noble and Greenough School, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham

Monday, August 9 at 7:30 pm
Fauré's Requiem
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica
Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Copley Square, Boston, MA

Monday, August 9 at 8 pm
Orff's Carmina Burana
Conducted by Max Hobart,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Monday, August 16 at 8 pm
Haydn's Mass in Time of War
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica
Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Copley Square, Boston, MA

Monday, August 16 at 8 pm
Vivaldi's Gloria and Fauré's Requiem
Conducted by William Sano,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Monday, August 23 at 8:00 7:30 pm
Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes
Conducted by Betsy Burleigh, hosted by Chorus pro Musica
Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Copley Square, Boston, MA

Monday, August 23 at 8 pm
Mendelssohn's Elijah (with cuts)
Conducted by Paul Madore,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Monday, August 30 at 8 pm
Verdi's Requiem
Conducted by Jeffrey Brody,
hosted by The Paul Madore Chorale
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA

Did I miss any? Leave the information in the comments, and I'll add it to the list!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday cat post!

Referring back to a classic, I give you "Oomi in a box: Part Deux."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday cat post!

I know I've been falling down a bit with the cat posts (last one was a month ago?!?) but we have an extra-special one today. Thanks to my globe-trotting parents, we've had pictures of Chinese cats and Turkish cats; now we have an Icelandic kitty from my brother and sister-in-law's recent trip to that island!

My brother says, "This cat was hanging out in a sculpture garden, then followed us for a few blocks out of the sculpture garden along with another cat."

Weekend Concert Calendar, 6/18/10

There's not a lot going on this weekend - except me! My quartet Anthology will be performing a concert of jazz and folk at the Taylor House B&B tonight (Friday) at 7:30 pm. Come for the music, stay for the incredibly scrumptious spread that Taylor House always puts out for their concerts. Hope to see you there!

And...this will be the last Weekend Concert Calendar until the fall - I'm going on summer vacation. Keep your eye on if you want to know what's going on!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer sings start tonight!

I'm working on a comprehensive list of summer sings, but since it's not done yet, I wanted to give you a heads-up about a sing happening tonight! Masterworks Chorale is having their first sing tonight. It's the Brahms Requiem, and it will be at 8 pm at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham. Check out their summer sings page for more information!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 6/10/10

The choral year is winding down with the academic year - get to a choral concert while you still can!


7:45 pm: Arlington-Belmont Chorale with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra; "Annual Pops Concert"; Arlington Town Hall.

8:00 pm: Boston Gay Men's Chorus; "Divas: Gay Pride Weekend"; Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston.

8:00 pm: Church of the Advent Choir; "Mass Appeal!" (includes
Monteverdi's Missa da capella a sei voci fatta sopra il motetto “In illo tempore” del Gomberti and the Mass for Double Choir by Kenneth Leighton); Church of the Advent, Boston.


8:00 pm: Boston Pops Gospel Choir; "Gospel Night"; Symphony Hall, Boston.

8:00 pm: Blue Heron Renaissance Choir; "The Virgin and the Singer" (motets for Mary by Ockeghem and others); First Church Cambridge, Congregational.


1:30 pm:
Melisma; Spanish and English Renaissance music; College Avenue United Methodist Church, Somerville.

4:00 pm: Youth pro Musica; "How Can I Keep From Singing?"; First Unitarian Society, Newton.

7:00 pm: Boston Gay Men's Chorus; "Divas: Gay Pride Weekend"; Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston.

Did I forget anything? Leave it in the comments!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 6/3/10

Air-conditioning broken? Go to a choral concert!


8:00 pm: Boston Choral Ensemble; "Beg/Borrow/Steal"; First Church Cambridge.


7:30 pm: Polymnia Choral Society; "Spring Pops in Melrose!"; Memorial Hall, Melrose.

8:00 pm: Mystic Chorale; 20th Anniversary Concert and Sing; Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge.

8:00 pm: Voices Rising; "A Choral Tribute to Dance"; First Church Boston.


2:30 pm: Mystic Chorale; 20th Anniversary Concert and Sing; Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge.

2:30 pm: Boston Choral Ensemble; "Beg/Borrow/Steal"; Old South Church, Boston.

2:30 pm: Voices Rising; "A Choral Tribute to Dance"; Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, Cambridge.

3:00 pm: The Apollo Club of Boston; Spring Concert; Nahant Town Hall.

3:00 pm: Chorus pro Musica; Carl Orff's Carmina Burana; Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 5/27/10

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As far as concerts go, I have next to nothing. You can check out Renaissance quintet Melisma on Friday at 8 pm at the College Avenue United Methodist Church in Somerville, where they will be singing some Spanish and English Renaissance music. Or you could check out the Boston Opera Collaborative's evening of operatic trivia and performances, hosted by Ron Della Chiesa, at 8 pm on Saturday at the Dante Alighieri Society in Cambridge. But other than that, get outside and enjoy the lovely weather!

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Anthology in the Globe!

Anthology made it into Thursday's "g"-section of the Globe! Awesome! Check it out! AND we are one of the editor's picks in the Boston Phoenix!

This is simultaneously awesome and intimidating!

Friday cat post!

I know I forgot to do one of these last week, but this week's makes up for it!

My parents were visiting my brother and sister-in-law last weekend and my dad got this shot of Oomi. I believe it requires no explanation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 5/20/10

First off, self-promotion! I have two big concerts coming up this weekend with my a cappella women's quartet, Anthology! We are doing a program of all new music - everything on the program was written for us by a composer in the Boston area. We have worked really hard on this concert, as you can imagine, and I would love to see as many of you there as possible!

A little more detail: We asked eight composers to write music on the theme of Light and Dark. The resulting works span an incredible diversity of styles and texts. We will be structuring the program so that each piece is performed twice, giving listeners more opportunity to appreciate and absorb the music. This year's composers are Peter Bell, Jonathan Breit, Brian John, Stefanie Lubkowski, Nikan Milani, Steven Serpa, Tony Solitro, and Po-Chun Wang.

Times and places:
Fri May 21 at 8 PM: Saint John's, 35 Bowdoin Street, Boston, MA
Sun May 23 at 2 PM: Christ Church Cambridge, 0 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

Please come! Especially if you are a fan of new choral music!

Also, I guess there is some other stuff going on this weekend too.


8:00 pm: Anthology, of course!; "Light and Dark"; Saint John's, Boston.

8:00 pm: Lexington Pops Chorus; Robert Ray's Gospel Mass and other works; Hancock Church, Lexington.

8:00 pm: Cambridge Community Chorus; "A Spring of Liberation and Freedom"; Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge.


8:00 pm: Musica Sacra; "Mary's Playlist: Choral Favorites from Thirty Years of Programming"; First Church Congregational, Cambridge. (I'm very sorry I'll miss this - I really do think Mary Beekman is easily one of the best concert programmers in the city.)

8:00 pm: Cappella Clausura; "Barbara Strozzi and Isabella Leonarda, Mistresses of the Italian Baroque"; Episcopal Parish of the Messiah, Newton.

8:00 pm: Lexington Pops Chorus; Robert Ray's Gospel Mass and other works; Hancock Church, Lexington.

8:00 pm: The Concord Chorus; Bach's St. John Passion; St. Camillus Parish, Arlington.


2:00 pm: Anthology, bien sur!; "Light and Dark"; Christ Church Cambridge.

2:00 pm: Boston Children's Chorus; "This is the Sound of Movies"; Strand Theater, Dorchester.

4:00 pm: Cappella Clausura; "Barbara Strozzi and Isabella Leonarda, Mistresses of the Italian Baroque"; First Lutheran Church, Boston.

And on Tuesday, you can hear the Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus give their spring concert at 7 pm at First Parish in Watertown.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back Bay Chorale Bach performance

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Back Bay Chorale's performance of Bach's B Minor Mass. It was quite an enjoyable experience, although it produced quite the internal intellectual quandary in me!

First things first, since I suspect that the vast majority of people to read this will be members of the chorus poking around the internet for reviews. The chorus's tuning was admirable, as was their rhythm; they were crisply in tempo the entire time, no mean feat. And their runs were remarkably clean for a chorus of their size; there was tons of space in the fast passagework, which was absolutely crucial. I really can't say enough good things about that amount of space in the phrasing. The majority of the singers were quite engaged, but there were some members who needed to get out of their books more (ahem, I noticed a few tenors in particular.) The orchestra was also very good; I especially enjoyed the flute solos.

The soloists were all extremely classy. Kendra Colton's instrument is a little too heavy for Bach for my taste, but her execution was flawless, and Krista River, Aaron Sheehan, and Sumner Thompson, all heavy hitters in the Boston area, were superb. I was also delighted to hear Sonja Tengblad given the chance to shine; I heard her at the Boston Singer's Resource auditions last month and her voice is ever so pretty, although I felt she was pushing a little given the size of the forces and the hall.

I had only one true complaint the entire night, and that for the maestro. Dr. Jarrett, come over here where no one can hear us. Now, I know you are more experienced than I. And I thought your gesture was both precise and expressive, something I envied greatly. You led the entire evening with intense focus and great aplomb. I know a number of your choristers, and they all not only love you, but think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. And your excellent leadership clearly extends beyond the podium, because on a night with approximately a billion choral concerts the best seat I could get was in the back row of the balcony. But please, please, PLEASE do not mouth the words, especially to your soloists! You have done this before, and it drives me nuts! I admit this is one of my particular pet peeves, and I heartily disapprove of it when done to choruses, but doing it to soloists looks even worse. It gives the appearance you don't trust them and need to micromanage them. You know Krista River will make the magic happen, so please don't mouth at her. However, aside from that, I was amazed that you were able to lead such a large ensemble to such a tight performance of some very dense music.

And the subject of the size of the forces brings me to the main issue that pretty much dominated my experience last night. I'm not an early music expert, but I do love it, and I have always preferred a light, clean, crystalline sound for Baroque music, especially for Bach. I want everything to be as transparent as possible. So looking down at the giant stage with the sizeable orchestra and the massive chorus, I was pretty skeptical, and the Kyrie didn't really shake me out of my skepticism; it sounded like everyone was working very hard to stay clean, and didn't pack a clear emotional punch. But then the Gratias Agimus movement came, and it was really profoundly moving, as was the next chorus movement, the Qui Tollis. And I spent the rest of the concert waffling about questions of size. On the one hand, despite the chorus's rhythmic precision, and the amount of space they left between their runs, the size of the forces really precluded the highest level of lightness and transparency. On the other hand, the slightly slower movements sounded wonderfully rich in a way that a smaller force couldn't have managed. The Sanctus section really exemplified this dichotomy for me; the Sanctus, with its fabulous swingy sound, practically demanded an enormous choir, but then the Pleni sunt coeli, with its nimble runs, begged for a lighter sound. Big choir, little choir? This was the major question of the evening for me. I walked into the concert thinking I knew the answer; I walked out in a state of fluctuating doubt. The concert didn't answer the question; by posing a strong defense of the advantages of a large ensemble (with the Dona Nobis Pacem providing the perfect closing argument) it opened my mind up to the debate in the first place, a debate I hadn't really been open to before. So, well played, Back Bay Chorale.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weekend Concert Calendar, 5/13/10

Wow, there is a lot going on this weekend. Good luck deciding what to do Saturday, especially. (Provided you're not actually performing, in which case the decision is pretty easy!) I think this is the peak weekend of the spring season!


8:00 pm: Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus; "Music for a Spring Evening"; First Parish Arlington. Features an encore performance of "Three Poems of L.M.Montgomery" by Kenneth Seitz.

8:00 pm: Cantata Singers; All Schütz program; Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston.

8:00 pm: Exsultemus; "Las Ensaladas of Mateo Flecha"; Union Church, Waban.


7:00 pm: Somerville Community Chorus; 25th Anniversary Concert: "In Praise of Music"; First Church Somerville.

7:30 pm: Braintree Choral Society; Mozart's Missa Brevis and works by Beethoven, Morley, and Vaughan Williams; Thayer Academy Center for the Performing Arts, Braintree.

7:30 pm: Broadband; At the Beacon Coffeehouse; First Baptist Church, Newton.

8:00 pm: Back Bay Chorale; Mass in B Minor by J. S. Bach; Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge.

8:00 pm: Cambridge Chamber Singers; "Monteverdi Madrigals (Mostly)"; Lindsey Chapel, Emmanuel Church, Boston.

8:00 pm: Brookline Chorus; "The Heart of New England" - works by Argento, Pinkham, Thompson, and Mechem; All Saints Parish, Brookline.

8:00 pm: Convivium Musicum; "Beyond the Gamut: Chromaticism in the Renaissance"; Church of St. John the Evangelist, Boston.

8:00 pm: Spectrum Singers; "Fugure: Rising Stars!"; First Church Congregational, Cambridge.

8:00 pm: Exsultemus; "Las Ensaladas of Mateo Flecha"; University Lutheran Church, Cambridge.

8:00 pm: Newburyport Choral Society; "Music from the Romantic Age"; Belleville Congregational Church, Newburyport.


2:30 pm: Newburyport Choral Society; "Music from the Romantic Age"; Belleville Congregational Church, Newburyport.

3:00 pm: Masterworks Chorale; "The American Five: Barber, Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Ives"; Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge.

3:00 pm: Coro Allegro; Davies' Prayers from the Ark along with music of Britten, Barber, Dinerstein, Hindemith, and The Manhattan Transfer; Church of the Covenant, Boston.

3:00 pm: Dedham Choral Society; Brahms' Requiem and Vaughan Williams' Toward the Unknown Region; Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston.

3:00 pm: Exsultemus; "Las Ensaladas of Mateo Flecha"; First Lutheran Church, Boston.

3:00 pm: Trinity Church Choir; "A Festival of Anthems: 20th-Century English Choral Masterpieces"; Trinity Church, Boston.

4:00 pm: The Williams Chorale; Music of Mozart, Pitoni, Haydn and more; Immanuel Lutheran Church, Attleboro.

4:00 pm: Sounds of Stow Festival Chorus; "Springfest: The Works of Eric Whitacre and John Corigliano"; First Parish Church, Stow.

4:00 pm: Choral Art Society; "Earthly Delights: Songs of Land and Sea"; St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Scituate.

7:00 pm: Cambridge Chamber Singers; "Monteverdi Madrigals (Mostly)"; St. John's Episcopal Church, Arlington.

7:00 pm: Convivium Musicum; "Beyond the Gamut: Chromaticism in the Renaissance"; St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brookline.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!