Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 2/24/11

Ah, the last Weekend Concert Calendar of February! We still have to get through March, but then spring approacheth! Celebrate the impending demise of winter with some hot rockin' choral music.

Friday: I actually don't have any choral events that I can find for tonight, but I am going to Opera Boston's production of Cardillac. I suggest you join me. :)

Saturday: Check out the Mystic Chorale's annual gospel bash. It is going to be awesome; see you there! 8 pm at Tremont Temple in Boston; details here.

Also on Saturday: Cappella Clausura, Dana Hall Chamber Singers, University Chorale of Boston College.

Sunday: Go back in time with Cappella Clausura and hear the great motets of Sulpitia Cesis, an early Italian Baroque composer. 5 pm at First Lutheran Church in Boston. This is the core repertoire for this highly acclaimed group, so if you have never seen Cappella Clausura, this weekend would be a great time to go!

Also on Sunday: Boston College's Voices of Imani, Mystic Chorale.

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday links

Two nice links today. First, an 8-year-old responds to a critic in the New York Times, offering his own list of who the 10 greatest composers are (as well as his 10 personal favorites.)

Next, a nice article in the Globe about a collaboration between H&H and the Lawrence Performing Fine Arts High School.

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday cat post - Guest Edition!

My parents took a trip to Florida and while there my father took this picture of a kitty with extra toes (a polydactyl kitty.) It's worth zooming in to really get a good look at the toes.

See for more info on the polydactyl cats at the Hemingway house in Key West.

Weekend Concert Calendar, 2/17/11

Well! Not a lot going on this weekend. On Friday you have only one option, but at least it is going to be a quality concert! Handel & Haydn will be performing Handel's Israel in Egypt at Symphony Hall at 8 pm. Also on Sunday at 3 pm. If you go here, you can see conductor Harry Christophers talking about the program.

On Saturday, I got nuthin'.

On Sunday at 4 pm, Chorus Angelicus, a children's choir from Connecticut, will be performing at St. John's Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms, MA. More info is here.

Also on Sunday: Handel & Haydn, The Salisbury Singers,

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day link

Let's see, what would be a nice link for Valentine's Day? How about Samuel Barber's "The Coolin'"?

Here is a version by the University Choir at the University of Boulder, CO.

Here is a version by the 2002 New Mexico MMEA All State Mixed Chorus.

(I couldn't find a version of this online with really great sound quality.)

The poem is by James Stephens (1880-1950).

The Coolin*

Come with me, under my coat,
and we will drink our fill
of the milk of the white goat,
or wine if it be thy will.
And we will talk,
until talk is a trouble, too,
out on the side of the hill;
And nothing is left to do,
but an eye to look into an eye,
and a hand in a hand to slip;
and a sigh to answer a sigh;
And a lip to find out a lip!
What if the night be black!
And the air on the mountain chill!
Where all but the fern is still!
Stay with me, under my coat!
and we will drink our fill
of the milk of the white goat,
out on the side of the hill!

*"The Coolin" is a love song. The word coolin or cooleen refers to a little, very special curl that used to grow exactly in the middle of the back of the neck of a girl. That term, "little curl" or "cooleen" [related to the more common "colleen"?] came to mean one's sweetheart, and practically ousted the word "sweetheart". This info from someone quoting James Stephens on the internetz.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 2/10/11

Wow, there is some seriously cool stuff going on this weekend. Bundle up and go see it!

Friday: The BU Choral Ensembles are performing at 8 pm at Marsh Chapel. What are they performing? No idea, as I can't find it listed anywhere, and the BU website is singularly unhelpful on this point, but if Ann Howard Jones is conducting, it is bound to be good.

Also on Friday: Boston Gay Men's Chorus.

Saturday: The Orpheus Singers are performing a program featuring the part-songs of Schubert, as well as works by Brahms, Lassus, Schönberg and Senfl. The program will feature pianists Leslie Amper and Randall Hodgkinson on Schubert's Fantasy in F Minor. At 8 pm at Emmanuel Church, Boston.

Also on Saturday: Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Exsultemus, New England Classical Singers.

Sunday: Koleinu and Temple Ohabei Shalom present "Shiru L'Adonai: Songs of Peace, Praise and Hope." The concert will include Sim Shalom by Michael Isaacson, Max Janowski's playful Adon Olam, and selected compositions by Cantor Schloss. The chorus will also perform the hauntingly beautiful "To Olga" from Aaron Rosenthal's Voices of Terezin. At 4 pm at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline.

Also on Sunday: Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Celebration of Gospel Spirit in Song.

Also, this is the last weekend of the Boston Opera Collaborative's production of The Cunning Little Vixen. Check that out if you have time!

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, February 07, 2011


This just came into my inbox, and I am extremely sad that I have rehearsal at the time in question because this looks like a great opportunity. If you are available, I strongly urge you to go.

Harry Christophers, internationally renowned conductor and Artistic Director of the Handel & Haydn Society, will be leading an open masterclass rehearsal with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (HRCM) at Sanders Theatre on Monday February 14th, at 6 pm. Mr. Christophers will be rehearsing selected movements from Handel's Israel in Egypt in preparation for his performance of the oratorio with Handel & Haydn at Symphony Hall on 2/18 and 2/20 and HRCM's performance of the same work with the Handel & Haydn orchestra in Sanders Theatre on 4/1.

The masterclass rehearsal is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Harvard Choral Administrator Carson Cooman.

Monday link

Yesterday in church we sang "The Storm is Passing Over" by Charles Tindley (my choir rocked it, naturally - they were swaying like pros!) and on Friday my organist Sylvia Berry found us a great Youtube clip of the song to get us inspired.

It is by the Detroit Mass Choir. I love this video - this is the power of Youtube! It's nice that it has several visual angles (as opposed to most choral videos.) I also love watching that guy conduct; he knows he's not needed to keep the beat, so he really shapes the energy going through. I also enjoy the way the choir is so sedate at the beginning, and at the end, they're all clapping!

Listen all the way through; it will pep up your wintry morning!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday cat post - Guest Edition!

Today we have a special treat - the cats of the organist at my church, Sylvia Berry, and her husband, Dale! Sylvia has a few words about the background of the cats, with references to the pictures which are below:

Malachi & Amicus

Both cats belong to my husband of 3.5 months, Dale Munschy. Well, as part of the marriage deal, clearly they now belong to me too. Malachi (pron. Ma-la-key) was born in 1996. (Just think - Bill Clinton was still in office! Feels like a century ago!) He turned 14 in August 2010, which makes him a senior citizen in cat years. He is shy, but is actually quite affectionate once you're sitting still and HE can approach YOU. However, since moving to Somerville from Rhode Island, he is getting bolder all the time. Witness his "take no prisoners" attitude when it comes to trying to get some of our dinner. (See "I want some chicken!") Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of him running his paw along the table while Dale wasn't looking, trying to find his plate from under the table! OR, actually grabbing food in his paw like a primate – Malachi is polydactyl, and thus as a “thumb.” It’s incredible to see him do this. Yes, he occasionally eats table food. Please, don't anyone yell at us! Clearly he's healthy. And when you get to be his age (around 72 in human years) maybe you deserve some treats. Amicus doesn’t like table food, but always wonders what Malachi is up to.

Amicus (pron. Ah-mi-cus) is a shelter cat. True to his name, he is indeed very friendly. Dale got him in 2008 when he was about 3 months old, meaning that he is still a rather rambunctious toddler kitty. But this is probably also in his nature as he seems to be part Maine Coon. Maine Coon cats are notoriously nutty and talkative, which is Amicus to a T. They also like to scale heights, and it is common to find Amicus on top of various things... the stove hood, the refrigerator, any of our keyboard instruments once they're on their sides about to be moved, etc... just any place where he feels some height. Witness him in the cupboard, which was open for about 10 seconds before he managed to get in there while my back was turned. Gah! Crazy cat!

Because Amicus does more silly things, there are probably more pictures of him. Malachi is extremely handsome though. Eventually we'll have some goofy pictures of him too, since some friends of ours gave us a toy he LOVES called the Cat Dancer. Strange: he's never played with anything, but he loves this thing. Dale says he's a brand new cat these days, and this is more proof of that. Maybe Malachi's getting his groove back! Or... picking up a groove he never had. Good for him. On the flip side, we hope Amicus will eventually calm down a little, even though he makes us laugh so much. Who knows though. Maybe his youthful antics have inspired Malachi to let loose!

One nice thing is that they often sleep together. If we leave an instrument cover on the floor and forget to fold it right away, invariably they will make a little nest of it, which is what you see in "We Love Canvas." Sleepy cats are always cute, eh?

Malachi and Amicus in Temporary Repose

I want some chicken!

Naughty kitty!

Is this a painting by some old Dutch master or a photo?

Yes, he's IN the instrument. That is a Stodart Compensator Grand fortepiano that Dale rebuilt.

We want some steak!

We love canvas!

I am happy to feature guest kitties! Musicians, send me your cat pictures!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 2/3/11

This weekend I am singing in a great program with Schola Cantorum. looks like we don't have much competition!

Friday: Come hear me sing with Schola Cantorum! We will be performing a really great program of early Baroque, Renaissance, and modern music. The centerpiece of the program will be Schütz's Musikalische Exequien (Funeral Music), which is considered by many scholars to be the first great work of the early Baroque period. It is made up of lots of little bits of solos and small ensembles contrasted with bigger choral sections, so everyone gets a little something to do! We'll also be singing a gorgeous Renaissance 8-voice motet by Gombert, Henry Purcell's jagged and heart-breaking Funeral Sentences, and a couple of modern pieces, including John Tavener's haunting Funeral Ikos. (You may notice there is a bit of a requiem theme!) At 8 pm at Saint John's, 35 Bowdoin Street, Boston. MA.

Saturday: On Saturday, check out Calliope in a program called "Pious and Profane" - music by Sondheim, The Bishop of Brindisi by Menotti, and Buenos Aires Tango. At 7:30 pm at Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St., Boston.

Also on Saturday: Schola Cantorum.

Sunday: Well, if you missed Schola Cantorum on Friday in Boston, come hear us at 4:00 pm at Saint Paul's Church, 15 Saint Paul's Street in Brookline! Because that's the only choral concert in town as far as I can tell. Anyone have different intel?

Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

overheard in arlington...

Overheard at Cantilena rehearsal on Monday night:

Me: Anyone know what the first interval in bar 8 is?
Alto 1 wiseass: A problem.

Me: So, what is this madrigal (Though My Carriage Be But Careless by Thomas Weelkes) about?
Alto 2 wiseass: Running someone over in your carriage!

I kinda love that group!