Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 9/29/11

Another weekend is upon us!

On Friday at 8 pm, the Phillipine Madrigal Singers will be at Killian Hall at MIT. On Saturday at 8 pm they will be at MIT's Kresge Auditorium. More info here, including contact information to buy tickets.

Also on Saturday at 8 pm, the Creole Choir of Cuba will be at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square.

And I will be sorry to be missing both those events, because ALSO on Saturday, at 7:30 pm, my quartet Anthology will be performing at the Lilypad in Inman Square. We'll be presenting our new Road Trip program (complete with choreography, staging, dancing, and hats) so don't miss it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday links

Well, Monday was a little nutty. How about some Tuesday links?

First of all, I LOVE the MacArthur grants. I love reading about who gets them, and dreaming about earning one some day. (I'm still working on the reason I would earn one.) The 2011 list of fellows was released recently, and there's a choral conductor on the list!

An interesting article in Slate on the challenges of preserving an artist's work, physically speaking.

Choralnet alerts me that some Brits are having the vapors over a woman being admitted to the Lincoln Cathedral Choir. I don't think there's anything wrong with having an all-boys choir; it's a lovely sound. So are mixed choirs. I just think that citing as your reasons for protest that having a woman sing alto would be a BETRAYAL of the composers' intentions strikes me as a bit histrionic.

Choralnet also tells me (they have all the good British gossip this week!) that one of the Westminster Cathedral organists was dismissed after dissing Rutter's piece for the recent royal wedding. Whatever you think about Rutter, blasting a commission for your organization on your Facebook account - with "colourful language," no less - doesn't strike me as particularly smart.

Finally, I came across this video of Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman. It is AWESOME. You can find most of the concert in bits and pieces on Youtube if you search for "Jessye Norman Kathleen Battle 1990" or variations thereof. And the VHS of the concert is on Amazon.

Jessye Norman & Kathleen Battle - Scandalize My Name from this wayin on Vimeo.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday cat post! Oomi edition!

What has my brother's cat Oomi been up to lately?

Holding all the blankets hostage, apparently. With winter coming, a wise strategy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 9/22/11

Here we go! The first Weekend Concert Calendar of the year! And Anthology is performing this weekend, please come to our concert!

On Friday, check out the Alto Extravaganza at King's Chapel, hosted by the altos of the King's Chapel Choir, who have finally had it! 7:30 pm, King's Chapel Parish House, more details here.

On Saturday, Emmanuel Music is presenting Bach's B Minor Mass at Emmanuel Church. The music is at 8 pm; at 7 pm, Prof. Robin Leaver, from Westminster, will be giving a talk. (He was a favorite lecturer when I was at Westminster, so I highly recommend going for the talk as well.)

On SUNDAY, my vocal quartet Anthology will be performing a FREE concert! 2 pm, at the Newton Free Library. We're going to be presenting a Road Trip! program, and we will take you all around the U.S., from St. Louis to Tennessee to Iowa to California. Please come! Kids are welcome.

And starting next Wednesday, the Phillipine Madrigal Singers will be in town for three concerts. The first is at 8 pm at the Paulist Center in downtown Boston. More information is here.

Free concert!

There is a FREE concert tonight by awesome vocal jazz group Syncopation. At Berklee, in the David Friend Recital Hall (921 Boylston St.) at 7:30 pm. What are you waiting for? Go!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday links

Check out the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard Medical School. Their list of projects is particularly interesting. And I took their tone-deafness test! Here are my results. I wish I knew how I stacked up to other people, but they don't tell you that! Also, they don't tell you how many you got wrong, or how small the pitch differences in the test get.

"Our results show that, given a baseline pitch at 500 Hertz (Hz), you can reliably discern pitch differences of less than 12 Hz, which is a small interval considering the fact that the semitone, the smallest interval used in Western music, is about 30 Hz (6%) with a 500 Hz baseline. Therefore, you are NOT tone deaf. The majority of the population can discern intervals smaller than the semitone, but this auditory acuity varies greatly and may be improved by substantial musical training."

I have probably linked to this before, but it's cute, so why not again? (Don't be thrown by the fact that the French apparently don't distinguish between upper and lower case Roman numerals for major and minor chords.)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Mid-week update

Yesterday was the first meeting of one of my two sections of chorus at Lasell. On the upside, I have some fantastic new singers who seem nice, talented, and responsible. On the downside, it looks like I have no basses, so I need to completely reevaluate the repertoire I chose. I will meet the other half of my singers tomorrow at the second section.

Tonight is the first choir rehearsal of the season (my choir at First Parish Cohasset takes a break over the summer.) It will be nice to see everyone again!

On Saturday, Cantilena will be having a read-through and recording of a Requiem by Seth Hamlin. We were originally going to perform this work with the WSO on 9/11, but because of the debt ceiling negotiations, our funding fell through. However, we wanted Seth to at least have the experience of a live recorded read-through after his hard work. We're not really advertising this event as open to the public, but if you want to come listen (and promise not to sneeze during the recording) get in touch.

Tomorrow I will also give new sight-reading students their first sight-reading lesson! I'm teaching either two or three at the same time, in a mini-class, so it will be an experiment.

And on Sunday I'm supposed to have all the music memorized for the upcoming Anthology concert. Heh. We'll see if that happens.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

quick link

An old friend of mine is teaching Voice-Movement Therapy classes in Somerville on Saturdays this September and October. In addition to being the lead singer for Jaggery, she's also a registered Voice Movement Therapy practitioner. This is a great way to both work on expressing yourself through singing and also work on exploring yourself emotionally. More details are here (scroll down to the middle of the Saturday section.)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Monday link

More links next week, but for this week, Happy Labor Day! Enjoy Boston's A Besere Velt singing the classic labor song "Bread and Roses."

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday cat post!

No pictures today, but a request!

I would love to have this Friday cat post spot feature the cats of all sorts of different musicians. Are you a musician? Would you like to have your kitty featured? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail!

In the meantime, have Chopin's Cat Waltz. (Apparently his cat walked across the keys, and he liked the melody so much he stole it.)

Mid-, er, late-week update

It is a hectic time for choral directors!

Last weekend was lovely; on Saturday, I went out to a late-summer party with some friends in Western MA. I headed home that night because of the hurricane (a good choice, as some roads were washed out on Sunday) and spent Sunday reading novels and watching TV (Leverage, if you're interested.)

But this past week has been prep, prep, prep! Searching for music for my college chorus at Lasell is one big challenge - since I don't know how many men I will have singing (or how many singers I will have total) it's hard to choose music. And sadly, a lot of the SAB music out there is really SAT music; my basses last year had a hard time of it occasionally. And on top of practical considerations, of course I also want them to be excited about the pieces we're singing!

This has been a week of e-mail and meetings. I am trying to get my inbox down before the semester starts. And this weekend will be trying to get my desk and music files into some sort of order. Hurricane Irene may be only a memory now, but the real hurricane is coming after Labor Day. Batten down the hatches!