Monday, April 30, 2012

Audition Day P. III

Greetings readers,

I know that some of you may be wondering: "How did you do?"

And with my deflective answer, I will just say: "You'll have to ask Zaugg."

I'm guessing that's not enough to satiate your curiosity.

I'm glad to report that, although nothing is for certain, I did the very best that I could do. I felt the process allowed me to demonstrate the range of my skills, whether it was my glaring weaknesses or my apparent strengths. I felt exponentially better each day so by the time I reached the third ensemble... I wasn't worrying about my position within the choir but focusing on the fact that I was getting to make music with different groups of talented people. As well, upon further reflection, I realized that some of our auditions actually began back in November. This was when Zaugg started working with Pro Coro for the first time in preparation for his Artistic Director audition concert. Working with singers within a natural context can't beat an audition process, where tasks and pieces are selected in order to simulate the same environment. 

Overall, I felt like it was a fair process and that everybody had their own opportunities to demonstrate their musical prowess. Zaugg was very clear at the start of the ensemble portion that he would be giving direct, specific feedback to singers in order to avoid a "Oh, but if you only told me to do _____" type of situation when he provides feedback later this Spring (all singers, successful or unsuccessful, will be receiving written feedback regarding their performance). Well, he definitely told us what he wanted individually from each singer so we really have no one to blame but ourselves if we didn't respond to his feedback.

What was also remarkable was how different each of the ensembles felt. While there may have been some similar analogies and questions, I was often surprised by new twists. One such moment was singing through the Lidholm piece past the marked boundaries of the quick-study passage. That was totally unexpected. Another was running Mozart's "Kyrie" in mini quartets facing each other in a circle; it was super fun passing the thematic lines to one another as we made our way through the piece. I also noticed it was so much easier singing the moving sixteenth notes when I could hear the Kyrie theme sung straight at me.
If only more things were blatantly obvious in choir. Also, it was refreshing to make eye contact with other singers who had parallel passages and initiate musical sequences together. There was a really nice sense of choral camaraderie within the ensembles. These mini quartets, I think, were one my favorite parts from the ensemble audition. As well, there were moments when things just clicked. One of my alto partners and I managed to execute a Mozart run with equivalent momentum and articulation at the start of the "Kyrie". I knew it was noteworthy because even Zaugg looked up from his stand to acknowledge it.

Now what? Well, there are still two more days of auditions in May for those singers who could not make the first audition round and then the final singer roster will be announced mid-May. Zaugg remarked that he would release results on May 13, however, after a brief moment of reflection, he realized that, perhaps, he shouldn't do it on Mother's Day. I agree. All I know is that I will either be a very happy or very sad Choir Girl while in Toronto (that's where I'll be before Podium 2012). May the best chorister sing!

Until next time readers, take care!

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