Friday, November 12, 2010

The Approach of Christmas

Greetings Readers!

I had no idea that my last post was my 100th post! Clearly, I'm not so great with keeping score of my own milestones. Oh well, 100 posts or not, I will continue on in my merry posting ways.

This past week in Belle Canto we started to prep for our upcoming Christmas concert. However, it's going to be relatively stress-free since Belle Canto is only singing one song. Belle Canto will be singing a piece called "Hymn to the Virgin" by Michael McGlynn. It's the typical pretty latin-chant Christmas piece so it should sound very pretty in the Winspear Centre. The rest of our pieces we will be singing with Chamber Choir or they will be mass choir pieces. Oh yes, and there will be audience carols as well. If there's anything I go on automatic singing pilot for, it's definitely audience carols. Don't get me wrong, I love audience carols, but there's only so many ways to sing Silent Night.

As I previously mentioned, we will be singing with Chamber Choir as well and this year we will jointly perform John Rutter's "Dancing Day." Chamber Choir usually cycles between Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carol," William Mathias' "Salvator Mundi" and John Rutter's "Dancing Day" each Christmas and this year just happens to be a "Dancing Day" year. The last time we performed Dancing Day was not that long ago though, since we needed a piece to quickly fill the program when we found out the soloist, Nancy Argenta, would be unable to make it to our concert, but it is always an audience favorite so it's nice to have it back. I've posted a video of the King's College Choir singing "A Virgin Most Pure." It's not the Rutter arrangement but the video just looks so Christmassy-I just had to share.

Furthermore, next week is the second Pro Coro concert I'll be singing in! We had a rehearsal on Wednesday and for one of the pieces our conductor brought in a full keyboard and speaker so that our accompanist could play ocean synth noises. He stuck in his USB stick and uploaded the sound of squawking seagulls and squeaking dolphins. I have to say, it makes a pretty neat soundscape effect. Our voice parts are cascading vocal lines that weave in and out, to mimic the sound of the ocean wave on the shore, and the synth noises are played on top of it. However, I'll be surprised if I can sing that part with a straight face when I have the sound of giddy dolphins next to me. I suppose my true professionalism will be put to the test. Saxophonist, P.J. Perry, will also be doing lots of saxophone improv for the concert so it will be interesting to see how that all pulls together next week when he arrives from New York City. If you're interested in coming out to the concert, here are the details:

When: Sunday, November 21, 2010 @ 2:30 pm
Where: McDougall United Church
Tickets:$30 Adults, $25 Student/Senior
Tickets can be purchased here

Until next time, take care!

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