Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Inner Chorister

 It is less than two weeks until Toronto.

Firstly, I have to admit, that I am a bit disgusted at how lucky I am to be singing with Pro Coro and going to Toronto at all. Throw in terms like Soundstreams, Professional Choral Singing, Pro Coro Canada, Elmer Iseler Singers, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putniņš, R. Murray Schafer, Vejlo Tormis, Koerner Hall, Uģis Prauliņs and my inner choir girl is fanning the static air around her face in a frenzy.

In case you have trouble visualizing my inner choir girl, I see her as a contemplative, bespectacled, chubby, preteen wearing a navy choir polo and frumpy denim while holding a miniature pumpkin that she received at her first choir camp for good posture. Internally, I am giving my inner choir girl a solid high five at this point in time. We did it you awkward but charming creature!

I have never toured as a professional chorister. In the past, when I have been on tour, it is for some kind of competition. After months of fundraising, memorization and rehearsals, we compete in hopes of getting some type of award that validates our collective hard work. This is not the mentality I am adopting for this Soundstreams tour. I do not view this tour as a competition against the other professional choirs in our country, but rather, as an opportunity to share the music from our local choir communities with a larger audience. It feels like a choral reunion in many ways, as if we are getting ready to head to the most awesome choir camp ever.

However, at the same time, I feel this pervasive sense of anxiety. It is frightening and motivating at the same time. I want to perform my very best. The music deserves it. For example, on this tour, we are singing not just one Prauliņs but TWO Prauliņs works: Laudibus In Sanctis from our Canadian Connection's concert with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the North American premiere of O Lux Beatissima. When singing Prauliņs, you are not just singing a line, but living in the world of the piece. The music exists in that transient point in time, as real as anything you can see and touch. I don't know exactly how Prauliņs does it, but he manages to write pieces that I have always wanted to sing... even though I do not know it yet.

It is my first choir retreat. I can see my inner chorister sitting, cross-legged, on top a sleeping bag lining the crinkly plastic coated bed mattress nearest to the squeaky cabin door. She is overwhelmed by the amount of music covered. She is not used to reading music. There are so many unfamiliar faces. Most of these faces seem to know one another. I would go to reassure the pensive girl, mustering up the courage to go play soccer or partake in a nature walk, that this whole choir thing is going to work out. That she will actually be able to go places as a result of it. That she will be able to connect with others through performing and writing about choral music. But then again, what would be the fun in that? She is about to find out for herself.

More information about the Soundstreams concerts on Feb 1 and 2, 2014
3 Choral Recitals
Canadian Choral Celebration

Reader Challenge

Dear readers, I am issuing you a challenge: I think it's time that I meet as many of you as possible. Find me at a concert, rehearsal venue, reception... or anywhere I happen to be while in Toronto. Come take a pic with me, it could be a selfie or epic group picture, it is up to you, and post the picture on Twitter or Facebook with #thechoirgirl. If you don't like posting on social media, no worries, I will post it for you. Tweet or message me @misssable or via the Choir Girl Facebook page to find out where I am. I will compile all the photos of readers I meet in a summary blog post. Even if you are not in Toronto, tweet me a picture of you in your musical habitat and I will include you in my collage as well.

I'm serious about this. It is time that social media works its magic to connect blog readers and choral music lovers. Hashtag (#thechoirgirl) photos by Friday, February 7, 2014. See you all soon!

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