Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Playing the Part

What's one step towards becoming a legitimate artist?

For me... it's composing a biography. I've always attributed biographies to people who have credentials. A section where an artist can list their schooling, accomplishments, hopes, dreams etc. in an eloquent and informative paragraph.

What about for somebody who doesn't see themselves as having credentials?

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Pro Coro stating that they were looking to compile biographies and headshots. First thing that went through my mind?

"Oh, no. People will discover what a complete professional chorister fraud I am."

I do not have a PhD in choral conducting, a Masters in Voice performance, or even a Bachelors in Fine Arts. Frankly, I'm just a Science student who has a very passionate interest in choral music. But maybe that's a good thing? Maybe an amateur choir singer reading my biography on the Pro Coro website can come to realize that, hey, you just need a passion and willingness to learn in order to do something to love and you don't need international training to accomplish that. Of course, it's great to have the musical training to provide an excellent background, but I came to the realization that it's not the only factor. And that I also shouldn't be ashamed of my musical background since it has gotten me this far. Perhaps I was too quick to write myself off as a total fraud?

I went to the first thing I had available for biography help, a "Singspiration 2011" brochure lying next to my laptop. Inside were five lovely music biographies of guest conductors at this camp. I perused them all. I refrained from being jealous of their content and looked solely at their structure. Using this scaffold, I composed my first biography draft. They all seemed to have the following components: where the artist came from, what they have done, their educational credentials and the places they received them, awards, what they're up to now, and how in-demand they are. Since I didn't have the information to fill out all these sections, I had to substitute with things that I have done. I sent my draft to some friends, and after incorporating their edits and embellishments, I settled on this edition. For the purpose of this blog post, I have used my internet alias "misssable". Feel free to peruse it for yourself :)

misssable is an avid chorister who was raised within the local Edmonton choir community. During her formative musical years, misssable participated in large number of groups ranging from the Schola Cantorum Junior, Intermediate, and Youth Choirs to the Cantilon Chamber Choir. While in university, misssable was a member of both the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers and the Belle Canto Women's Ensemble. Over the years, misssable has participated in a variety of choral music festivals, both at the local and national level.  Highlighted festival experiences include her appearances at the Edmonton Kiwanis and Podium Music Conference, as well as in the CBC Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs. She has also toured extensively to various international festivals, including The National Eisteddfod of Wales, the Béla Bartók Choir Competition, and the Cork International Choral Festival. misssable possesses a Bachelor of Science degree and is currently completing a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology, both from the University of Alberta. In addition to being an active member of both Belle Canto and Pro Coro Canada, misssable demonstrates her passion for the art of choral music as the author of the popular "Choirgirl" blog.  She is thrilled to be sharing her love of choral music with the Pro Coro community again this season.
Until next time, take care readers!

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