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 meet...my 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!