Saturday, December 29, 2018

Best of 2018

Greetings readers and Happy Holidays!

While posting frequency has diminished, the Choir Girl blog is not forgotten. You probably have noticed that I only post when I have something significant to post. Entries on this blog begin back on January 19, 2009 so I am coming up on my 10th year anniversary on January 19, 2019. Is there anything you'd like to see me do for a commemorative 10 year post? Please let me know.

My blog has served as a platform to hold me accountable for the projects that I take on and challenges me to reflect and share a performance perspective some individuals may not see. It has also allowed me to document my process from moving from a community choral singer into professional chorister. The focus has evolved these past years but the heart of the blog serves as a platform to create discourse about music and performance.

I have a few round ups for the year of 2018 which was a year of performance passion as well as challenge. But as most of you know, I love a challenge, so here are some of my picks for projects that topped my list for the year.

1. H.M.S. Pinafore with Edmonton Opera

Photo by Nanc Price Photography courtesy of Edmonton Opera

This show was most physical one I have had to tackle as a member of the Edmonton Opera Chorus. Between the dance intensive staging rehearsals every other evening and taming my body to listen to choreographer instructor, my mind and body were physically and mentally maxed out. My upbringing didn't include any exposure to dance instruction but I took on a learning attitude and embraced my enjoyment of movement in general. I got to learn moves like a charleston, chaine, and sugar. While I was in a perpetual state of muscle soreness for many weeks from January to February, I was pleased with what I was able to pull off when I saw video clips and photos. I didn't want to bring the the show down so I kept up an intensive cardio and stretch routine outside of rehearsals. I would practice my dance steps, video myself, watch the video, and then keep running it to make sure it matched what the choreographer showed in rehearsal. But once the show was running, my body had loaded the movements in. Once the curtain went up, I could just set sail, enjoy the expanse of that beautiful ship set, and soak in the energy of the on stage band and my fellow performers.

Photo by Nanc Price Photography courtesy of Edmonton Opera
2. Banff Centre Residency 

The Banff Centre residency was by far my most challenging music project that I took on this year. Learning five new compositions and getting them all performance ready in four days took all of my skills as a performer and created a pressure cooker situation to develop the skills I needed to meet the challenge. However, with naps, group sectionals, practice room time, perseverance, drink, I survived! It was not a relaxing residency but time is a luxury and we didn't have much of it. But the result of having a full schedule meant that we got to pack in more cool projects like completing some recordings for Equus with Darren Fung.


One of my most powerful projects this year and one I am personally most proud of. I didn't expect to co-create my own singing sisterhood but somehow I managed it with Jane. I stayed true to my intuition and was gifted with finding artists who resonated with the project. It was also the first time I  had text of my own adapted and set to music. All the thanks goes to the people who supported us by being in the audience, sending me texts and e-mails of support, artists sharing their skills to amplify our work, or listening to me rant about the under-representation of contemporary female perspective in choral music. I send all my unconditional love to the fellow FEMMEs, Jane Berry, Amy Voyer, and Dawn Bailey. Many thanks to New Music Edmonton to create a reason for us to form and a space to perform. It is amazing to be in a musical community that creates space for experimental works and I am beyond excited to see what projects we get up to in the future. I was also so excited to style and direct this photoshoot with Nanc Price as my photographer. 

See you all in 2019!