Saturday, December 17, 2005

Messiah Finished, Very Successful Performance

Fall 2005 for UAB Choirs is now officially over. Grades have been turned in, the Messiah has been learned, at times despised, loved, and performed very well for a huge audience of our family, the Birmingham music loving community, and others.

Personally, I had a fantastic time sitting under Mr. Scott's leadership. I also had a great time sitting beside choir leader Charles Henry, who never missed a note or an opportunity to explode a consonant. Superb job, Charles. Charles was also in my conducting class this semester; he promises to be a dynamic music professional one day. I have no doubt that i will be proud to call him a student of mine. Great students bring honor to their teacher. (and poor students bring dishonor).

It was a very interesting night and day, to say the least. Some random thoughts:

1. The tenor walking back to his seat after "Comfort Ye" was quite bizarre. I wondered if he would realize his mistake and get back in time--and he did, barely. Wow.

2. I found that I had a little trouble singing "And the Glory" because I was still surprised at the tenor. Did anyone else have trouble getting back on track?

3. The chorus was magnificent, due primarily to the hard work of Dale Reynolds, Mark Ridings, and the fine singers. The careful attention to marking the scores, stand/sit information, black covers, and overall detail work produced a very prepared chorus. I take myself out of that equation because I only prepared you to be prepared by them. My greatest contribution to the successful performance was getting great singers to UAB. You, and they, did the rest of the work--I was just some guy in a black turtleneck.

4. Someone in the tenor section that I really like made the funniest comment about the beauty of the young soloists. It strikes me as a bit inappropriate to communicate it to you in this forum, but maybe later!

I had a brief time with some friends after the event and they had some great insights:

1. Mezzo soloist, Angela Horn, was superb; stood head and shoulder above the others. Although it was difficult to appreciate them fully from the chorus, it seemed to me that the bass (Jason Hardy) did an outstanding job as well. Great pics on his website.

2. The chorus sang with far more precision than they received from the conductor. Most of his attention was directed towards the orchestra, even at crucial entrances. We came in strongly because we were prepared well.

3. Overall, I thought Mr. Scott did a great job with interpretations, tempos, and orchestra management.

4. I was very pleased with the experience, both for myself and my students. Congratulations to all.


Keith said...

I concur. I liked what you told us before the concert too about this being an amazing opportunity. I love having the chance to be a part of these things and for some of us (me specifically), this is a once in a lifetime thing that I greatly appreciate being a part of and will remember for the rest of my life. I love UAB choir and how it has enriched my life culturally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually and mentally! I’ve also made some great friends as well as the great memories.

Charles said...

What an experience. As we were performing, I couldn't help but think of what it must have been like so many years ago when Handel performed this work. Our performance was reliving history. Thanks everyone for making it such a memorable occasion.

Charles said...

P.S. Thank you, Dr. Copeland.

Marybeth Verchot said...

I was able to notice that we made some nice sounds even while I was freaking out about being surrounded by people touching me.

It's funny how much nicer the Messiah seems in retrospect. . .