Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Easter Well Spent

Photo Credit: Kathryn Sparks
Greetings readers,

Just coming off of the high of singing Bach's St. John's Passion with Pro Coro on Good Friday. My, it was a gorgeous performance. It was due in part to the hypnotic tenor, Derek Chester, who was so good that I was actually missing my entries during the dress rehearsal because I was caught up in listening to him. Something that usually doesn't happen to me! It was the first time I got to hear him sing all of his Evangelist parts so I was thoroughly entranced by his voice, as I hinted to in a previous entry. His diction had such resonant clarity and the German came off the page as lively and expressive throughout the entire piece.

In addition to singing some absolutely beautiful choruses, I got to listen to so many fantastic soloists make their way through the piece. The unique thing is that most of the other soloists came from the Pro Coro choir. The whole performance just whipped past for me and I couldn't believe it was the end when it arrived. It was definitely a performance where I lost track of time. One of my most memorable pieces was the second last chorus: "Ruht Wohl Ihr Heiligen Gebeine." There is just something about the sound of the singing string melody that is goosebump-inducing and resonates to my very core. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but if I felt like I was crying inside because it was so beautiful. Maybe I should explain myself further---I'm more of a covert emotional person.

After the performance, there was a reception to bid farewell to Richard Sparks who has been the artistic director for Pro Coro for the last 10 years. I was thankful that our years overlapped and that I had the opportunity to work with him, this being his final year and my first in Pro Coro.

It was definitely a busy year with Pro Coro, there was a moment during the performance where I thought back to where I was one year ago: scrambling to learn a Bach aria and arranging the details to make an audition recording to submit to Pro Coro. Here I am one year later, where I have somehow managed to sing every concert in the season! One year can bring about so much change! I'm glad that Richard allowed me the opportunity to sing this season. It was great having the chance to sing such a diverse range of music, improve my sight-reading, and increase my confidence as a performing musician.

Also, thanks to my blog readers who have been reading along in my choral journey. In saying that, I hope you all have a lovely Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tenor Love

Alright, it's confession time.

It's not so much a guilty pleasure because I don't feel guilty about it, but moreso something that I take great delight in... and that's listening to tenors sing. Granted, not all tenors. There are some strained tenor voices which make my skin crawl, but when they're good... oh, they're good. There's just something about the smooth and romantic texture of tenor voices that makes me melt. It's actually a bit frightening how much power tenors have over women with their voices in general, but alas, that is the source of their power. In reality, it's not exclusive to tenors only since it's startling how most men become instantly attractive once they're performing. If they weren't particularly attractive before, they are suddenly captivating. If they were attractive before, they're downright irresistible. Unfortunate for women really, since I don't believe that women muster the same level of infatuation as a majority.

Thus, it's nice that I get to indulge in my tenor listening tendencies within Pro Coro. Starting tomorrow there's a full tenor section and a killer tenor soloist, Derek Chester, singing the role of the Evangelist for our performance of Bach's St. John's Passion this Friday.


Until next time readers!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Arrival of the Virtual Choir 2.0

It arrived on Thursday, April 7, 2011: The Virtual Choir 2.0

After purchasing a USB microphone, spending hours learning, rehearsing, and recording myself to get a solid take of myself singing all four treble voice parts in "Sleep," it was time to watch the premiere Virtual Choir video. Strangely enough, when I watched it, I just felt a feeling of disconnect. Maybe in the few months it took Whitacre's team to compile the audio and video together my excitement had died down? It was still cool to see, don't get me wrong, but I was not moved to tears at the musical climax of the piece as many other viewers were.

To be honest, I was mostly curious to see if I would be able to catch a glimpse of myself singing in the video. I was also nervous since singing is not always a pretty thing to photograph and, on more than one occasion, I have had pictures snapped of my contorted face while singing an unattractive vowel. However, this was not the case and I am happy to report that I spotted myself at least three times in the video. They were all from the different videos from the four that I submitted (if you look closely on the "Canada" orb at 5:01 I'm on the lower central part of the globe). I believe they had a randomization software that made sure all of the 2052 video entries were shown at least once in the video and some of the close-ups are of Whitacre's personal favorites. On Whitacre's site you can already order a wide variety of Virtual Choir merchandise, such as t-shirts that state: "Choir Geeks of the World Unite." While this particular message resonates with me, I am trying to move past the stage where I wear t-shirts with personal proclamations.

Ultimately, it was a very cool project to be a part of and I'm interested to see the buzz and future projects that will occur as a result of it.

If you haven't seen it check it out here:

Friday, April 1, 2011

A First Look

Greetings readers!

I was very excited to get a 2 minute glimpse of the upcoming Virtual Choir this morning. The complete video will debut on April 7, 2011 on Youtube. I highly recommend viewing the video in which Whitacre documents his musical upbringing and virtual choir projects. I also think it's funny how everybody thought his talk was over and gave him a standing ovation before he even played the newest Virtual Choir clip. I'm a fan of the interconnected global layout of the choir. It looks way better than the static choir formation with those nasty yellow potlights in the previous Lux Aurumque Virtual Choir video. Enjoy!