Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday link

A great entry by Liz Garnett over at Helping You Harmonise about the question "How did the performance go?" She really hits the nail on the head, in my opinion. Performing as a conductor requires a different state of mind than rehearsing, and being deep within the music makes it difficult to get a bird's-eye view of the whole thing. This plays into what I call the "input/output" problem; I have problems doing both at the same time, so often in rehearsal I might just conduct passively and analyze the sound, whereas if I'm performing-conducting, and really sending out my energy and intentions, it's much harder to analyze the input in the same way.

Hat-tip to Allen Simon at ChoralNet's ChoralBlog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 1/27/11

Friday night is a big night this weekend; see below!

Friday: Anthology is having our first CD release party! We are extremely proud and excited - and relieved! - about the arrival of our self-titled debut CD. You should all come to our CD release party to celebrate with us (and perhaps pick up a few copies!) because it is free, and we will be singing some songs from the CD, and there will be free food! 8 pm at Third Life Studio in Union Square, Somerville. There is even free close parking. I hope to see you all there! (And if you have some truly unavoidable conflict, of course you can order a CD online. Just go to and click on the CD link.)

Also in Friday: Nothing! I am not just trying to get rid of the competition, either; I know of no other choral gigs on Friday.

Saturday: On Saturday, why not check out the Seraphim Singers? They are performing a program called "Sacred North," featuring music of by Grieg, Nystedt, Rautavaara, and others, and pairing it with Samuel Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard. They will be joined by Heinrich Christensen on the organ. Seraphim Singers are notable for programming extremely hard music; they started as a group of church musicians who wanted to sing all the music that was too hard for their church choirs to sing. They are always worth hearing, and on top of that I think modern Scandinavian choral music is some of the most inspired choral music being written right now. 8 pm at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Harvard Square; more details here.

Also on Saturday: Exsultemus, Voices Rising, Wellesley Choral Society.

Sunday: The Andover Choral Society is performing Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at 3 pm at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College in North Andover. Beethoven! Missa Solemnis! Have you ever heard it in person? Then what are you waiting for?

Also on Sunday: Exsultemus.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday cat post!

As I am away this weekend, I had to leave my kitty in the care of my most excellently reliable and kind cat-sitter. Below you can see a picture of what Samson thinks about my leaving. He is always extremely needy when I get back. It makes me wonder what happened in his life before we came together.

(What actually happened in this picture is I caught him mid-meow because he was sick of the camera flashing in his face.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 1/20/11

I am in Texas this weekend (or, at the time I write this, I am hoping I can get to Texas given the snowy forecast) for Convivium's FOUR, count 'em, four different early music concerts this weekend. (Lassus, Victoria, Bach, Josquin.) But for you who are stuck here in our not-as-fair-as-in-warmer-months-city, here are some suggestions.

Friday: I have nothing for Friday. Surely this isn't possible! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Saturday: I think my pick for Saturday is Voices Rising. You have two opportunities to hear them this day; they are performing at 3 pm in Needham, and 7:30 pm at First Church in Boston. This program, called "The Spirit Moves Her," features (and I quote from their website): "works by women composers Libby Larsen and Naomi Stephan and highlights choral settings of women’s texts, including the ideas of 12th-century visionary Hildegard von Bingen, the teachings of Mother Teresa and the contemporary poetry of Catherine de Vinck. From reverent Psalm to rousing Spiritual, from veneration to indignation, from praise to prayer, this concert explores the many dimensions of spirituality from a uniquely female perspective." I can get behind that!

Also on Saturday: Acton Community Chorus, Convivium Musicum, Exsultemus, Halalisa Singers.

Sunday: Go to the King's Chapel Concert Series! I am really sorry I won't be in town for this one. In honor of the church's 325th anniversary (wow) the King's Chapel Choir will be performing four world premieres, by Carson Cooman, James Woodman, David Carney, and Heinrich Christiansen (the music director.) They will also be singing works by local boys Billings and Pinkham. At 5 pm at King's Chapel, 58 Tremont Street, Boston. (These concerts are never particularly long, but always particularly excellent!)

Also on Sunday:
Convivium Musicum, Halalisa Singers.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday link

Jennifer Larmore sings "Art is Calling to Me" (aka "I Want to Be a Prima Donna, Donna, Donna!") I got to see her sing this in person when at Westminster - truly hilarious!

And Roger Vignoles, a collaborative pianist, responds with: "The Battle Hymn of the Accompanist." (Note the good diction; collaborative pianists know their stuff!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 1/14/11

I know I missed last week's concert calendar (and last week's Friday cat post, and the last Monday link, etc.) And this is going up late! What can I say? Improving my blogging was not a New Year's resolution.

But here we go. What's going on this week?

Friday: I'm heading to the Cantata Singers concert tonight! It is embarrassing to admit that I have never been to a Cantata Singers concert before when they are one of the best choral groups in the city; I have no defense, yer honor. But they are doing part songs by Finzi, Holst, Elgar, and Vaughan Williams, and part songs are some of my favorite things ever. And they are also performing Vaughan Williams' Riders to the Sea, a one-act semi-staged musical drama. (This is part of their year-long celebration of Vaughan Williams.) How cool is that? That will get me out to NEC's Jordan Hall at 8 pm tonight!

Also on Friday: Lexington Pops Chorus.

Saturday:The Harlem Gospel Choir is here to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday! Go see their Joyful Noise Gospel Concert on Saturday night at Sander's Theatre at 7:30 pm (note the slightly earlier start time.)

Also on Saturday: Lexington Pops Chorus.

Sunday: Convivium Musicum has a very interesting concert lined up for you: Josquin's Playlist. What did Josquin listen to as he was composing all that beloved choral music? Also featuring some of Josquin's own work, this is a very clever look into the music of Josquin's time. At 4 pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brookline (a beautiful space.)

And on Monday, the Boston Children's Chorus is doing a couple of concerts in honor of MLK Day, one at 2 pm and one at 6:45 pm. Check them out at NEC's Jordan Hall.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

AMC Mountains & Music Weekend

Just an announcement that if you like hiking and outdoor activities, or music-making, or both, you should consider attending the AMC's Mountains and Music Weekend. I will be the choral conductor, and we'll be doing Bach's Magnificat. Singers and instrumentalists are both needed and welcome! I've done this weekend before, and it's really a wonderful time. (I like the February weekend because it gives me an opportunity to really engage with the outdoor wintry weather in a positive way.)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Monday link - Cantilena!

Now is the winter of our AUDITIONS! Yes, it's January audition time for all your favorite local choruses, and Cantilena is holding auditions after rehearsals for the next three Mondays. Details are here; no need to reserve a spot or prepare anything, just show up! I have a super-fun Madrigal Mania! program planned, and Cantilena, in addition to being an excellent chorus, is a wonderful community, so consider joining! As usual, the far ends of the spectrum are particularly welcome (meaning Sop 1's and Alto 2's.)