Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smal life update

Today in the elementary school where I teach music one day a week:

Me: What's this?
Student: A half-note.
Me: Good. What's this?
Another student: A polka-dotted half note.
Me: Er, no. Just a dotted half note.

Of course, once she said it, it stuck in the kids' heads, and at least one other student called it that during class!

The same class featured a game of Is It A Composer or a Pasta? (From the brilliant mind of Ashi Day.) The only two they got wrong were Donizetti and farfalle.

Ticket giveaway!

It's been a while since I've done a ticket giveaway on this blog, but today I have TWO pairs of tickets for you!

The first pair is to the Cantilena concert that I will be conducting this Sunday at 3 pm! We are going to be presenting "An American Christmas," featuring Christmas music by different American poets and composers, and we are particularly excited to be presenting a premiere by Ken Seitz written just for us. Details are below - we've all been working very hard, the group sounds great, and I hope you can come! The concert will be at First Parish Arlington at 630 Mass. Ave in Arlington Center.

The second concert is Musica Sacra's concert on Saturday at 8 pm. They will be performing "Lessons and Carols: Selected carols, motets, and readings in celebration of the season" at First Church Congregational right outside Harvard Square. The concert is evening of readings from the Christmas story mingled with a variety of carols and motets. This concert will feature a wide array of styles and composers, including local living composers Kevin Siegfried and Erik Gustafson, and Renaissance Jewish composer Salamone Rossi.

So here is the deal - leave a comment with your name, e-mail address (spelled john dot smith at comcast dot net) and which concert you are interested in (or both), and I will randomly select (via a random number generator) someone for each pair of tickets. Leave your comment before Friday at 9 am - later that morning I'll post the winners, and you will have a pair of tickets waiting for you at will-call at your chosen concert!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday link

Hey, Christmas time is here! And you know what that means - it's the one time of year people who don't sing regularly in choruses might pay attention to choral music!


Seriously, there is a very nice article about choral music and some of the season's upcoming concerts in the Boston Globe. It would be even nicer if they didn't focus exclusively on mixed choruses, but you can't have everything.

Now if only they would run another nice article like that in April or May, when there are just as many choral concerts as in December.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Small life update

So, last summer I participated in a recording session for a video game. It was VERY interesting, and now that the game is out I'm actually allowed to talk about it! It's called Ace Combat 3DS Assault Horizon Legacy, and you can see a preview here (and also hear me singing in the background! We were singing words, really.)

I hope I get to do something like that again; the people in charge of the recording session seemed happy with the work of the assembled singers, so you never know!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday cat post!

If you are not familiar with the Simon's Cat animations, they are wonderful little movies. And there is a new one out! "Double Trouble!"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday link

Today's Monday link is about an exciting choral event in one week that you can participate in!

There is going to be a choral flash mob in Dewey Square on 11/29 at 12:15 pm to sing "Make Our Garden Grow" from Bernstein's Candide. This is in honor of the Boston Public Market Association’s endeavors to bring locally grown food to the people of Boston. More details, and the opportunity to RSVP, are here!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Small life update

I keep meaning to use this blog more to talk about my day-to-day musical activities, but the longer I don't, the bigger the task seems, and the less likely I am to start (the eternal blogger's conundrum.)

So I'll start small. Apparently a week ago in church choir rehearsal I made a comment while we were practicing "Glory to God" from the Messiah that the choir sounded like angelic elephants (the goal being that they should sound more like angelic cherubs with somewhat less mass.)

I showed up at church yesterday afternoon to find a small cuddly stuffed elephant with gold wings and a gold halo and a little note referring to "elephantine angels." E, the girl I teach voice lessons to on Thursday, promptly fell in love with it and dubbed it "Bubbles."

It's the little things!

Friday cat post!

Well, I have just accepted that my digital camera is completely lost, since I haven't seen it for over a year. I'm going to get a new one soon (maybe over Thanksgiving?) so that soon you will see pictures of Samson again, but until that time, you just get crazy cat links!

I think this is adorable - Cats On Glass. Number two is my favorite!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/17/11

This weekend there is no doubt about what you must see; unquestionably, you must come see me sing with Schola Cantorum in our first-ever collaboration with new music group Juventas! We are going to be singing Arvo Pärt's Stabat Mater and a Josquin motet, along with the premieres of new works by Oliver Caplan and Domick DiOrio. The program is called "Through the Looking Glass: Old Sounds Reinvented," and you definitely don't want to miss it - it's got new music inspired by music from the Baroque and Renaissance. Very cool! Be there!

  • Lorelei Ensemble, "Lumen di Lumine: Works by Taverner, Dufay, Sulpitia Cesis, Payne, Hagen, and a World Première by Mary Montgomery Koppel," 8 pm, Wenham
  • Boston Choral Ensemble, "Vertue: Works by Victoria and Weir," 8 pm, Cambridge
  • Schola Cantorum with Juventas, "Through the Looking Glass: Old Sounds Reinvented," 8 pm, Boston
  • Boston New Music Initiative, "Hymns and Songs: New Works for Voice, Chamber Ensemble and Chorus", 8 pm, Cambridge
  • Lorelei Ensemble, "Lumen di Lumine: Works by Taverner, Dufay, Sulpitia Cesis, Payne, Hagen, and a World Première by Mary Montgomery Koppel," 8 pm, BU, Boston
  • Back Bay Chorale, "Essential Voices: Palestrina’s Pope Marcellus Mass and works by Tallis, Bruckner, Britten, Wachner, and MacMillan", 8 pm, Boston
  • Metropolitan Chorale, "Metamorphosis: Works by Buxtehude, Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Lauridsen, Stucky, and others," 8 pm, Cambridge
  • Mystic Chorale, "Bright Morning Stars: A Celebration of Americana," 8 pm, Boston
  • MIT Chamber Chorus, Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors and Bach's Cantata No. 64, 8 pm, Cambridge
  • Newton Choral Society, "Royal Riches: Works by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart," 8 pm, West Roxbury
  • Schola Cantorum with Juventas, "Through the Looking Glass: Old Sounds Reinvented," 8 pm, Providence, RI
Did I miss anything? Want to advertise your own musical event? Leave it in the comments!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Cat post!

Your kitty-related link of the day. Tee hee! (Via Alex Ross.)

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/10/11

Crazy-busy weekend again!


  • Orpheus Singers,"In the Time of Louis XIV - French Baroque Classics", 8 pm, Boston
  • Salisbury Singers, "With One Voice: Songs of Struggle, Patriotism, and Renewal", 7:30 pm, Worcester
  • Exsultemus, "English Music for Voices and Viol", 8 pm, Brandeis, Waltham



Did I miss anything? Want to advertise your own musical event? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Monday link

Today's Monday link comes from my friend Mike. It's a great article in the New Yorker about coaching in different areas - the author is a surgeon, but singers and violinists are also mentioned. Feels very relevant to me because I have been playing with the idea of finding a mentor/coach for several years now.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Weekend Concert Calendar, 11/3/11

Woooo, it is BUSY this weekend! So at the risk of alienating some very worthy ensembles, I am going to help you choose.

If you go to one concert this weekend (and for the record I am going to more than that) you should go to the St. Matthew Passion performance being put on jointly by the
Boston Cecilia and Musica Sacra. This is Cecilia director Don Teeters' 44th and final season with that fine ensemble, and this is the major work of their season. Teeters is noted for his work with period ensembles, especially in Bach and Handel, and this is your last chance to see him conduct a significant work with a period orchestra and two of the city's finest choruses. Not to mention a bevy of awesome soloists! Don't miss it, it's going to be one of the best choral events of 2011-2012.


Masterworks Chorale, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, 8 pm, Cambridge

Treble Chorus of New England, "Viva La Diva!", 7 pm, Andover


Sharing a New Song, Gospel Workshop (12-4 pm) directed by Jonathan Singleton, Concert at 6 pm, Newton Highlands

Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Radcliffe Choral Society, "Motets and Madrigals", 8 pm, Cambridge

Cantata Singers, "The Extended Arch - J.S. Bach and Stephen Hartke", 8 pm, Boston

Cappella Clausura, "Ghirlanda de Madrigali: 4-part Love Songs by the Teen-aged Vittoria Aleotti", 8 pm, Cambridge

Treble Chorus of New England, "Viva La Diva!", 7 pm, Andover

Seraphim Singers, "An American Sampler", 8 pm, Cambridge

Exsultemus, "Baroque Vocal Cantatas by Telemann", 8 pm, West Newton


Boston Cecilia and Musica Sacra, Bach's St. Matthew Passion, 2 pm, Boston

Chorus Pro Musica, Kodaly's Missa Brevis, 3 pm, Boston

Did I miss anything? Want to advertise your own musical event? Leave it in the comments!