Friday, July 24, 2009

uab welcomes und

Choir . . .

Why don't you go welcome the University of North Dakota to the blogging world?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Someone is watching you - so always be nice here

Got this email today:

I have been following your choir blog for a time now and I really love how you use it to communicate with your singers. It seems great for the technical, logistical stuff, but even more so for the sense of community and esprit de corps it promotes. I am planning doing the same thing with my group on an experimental basis to see if it works for me (will I be able to post regularly) and my kids (will they read it).

I hope you don't mind me stealing your idea. I see a lot of potential, for a very low cost (basically free). If you have any tips for getting started, I'm all ears. I plan on using wordpress at this point.

Thanks. Have a great rest of the summer.

Joshua Bronfman
Director of Choral Activities
University of North Dakota

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Transitional moments of beauty

A little more about my programming decisions for the ACDA conference - this one concerning the final two pieces.

Harry was right in his comment . . Nunc is a fabulous ending piece. However, it is the performance and transition from "Esti dal" to "Nunc dimittis" that is really going to be cool . . . we go from a children's lullabye into the historic Song of Simeon.

We'll use this translation for Esti dal:
As I lay down for the night by the edge of the woods,
I pull my blanket up to my chin.
I put my hands together,
Thus imploring you, my good Lord

My Lord, grant me a place to stay,
For I’ve grown tired of wandering,
Of hiding,
Of living in a foreign land

My Lord, grant me a good night
Send me your blessed angel
To give courage to the dreams in our hearts.
My Lord, grant me a good night.
and then we sing the Nunc dimittis . . . translated here:
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
There's more, though. I want you to get my personal story behind the "Esti dal." I "discovered" the piece while i was reading this blog, by composer Michael Kaulkin. I was reading it one evening while I was putting the girls to bed. Then - and now - we help the triplets fall asleep by staying with them in their room each night until they drift off to sleep. It is a very sweet time - one that is almost 'holy' to any parent - and I read this blog during that 'winding down' time with the girls. I was very moved by Kaulkin's story - and I still am every time I read it.

Here's what Kaulkin has to say about Esti dal:
Esti Dal is a very short and simple piece that offers its lovely melody three times. The first and third statements are given by the sopranos, accompanied by sustained humming from the lower parts. The middle statement blossoms with majestic counterpoint, and during this part Philo moves his hands expressively, much as a conductor does, and visibly moved by the slight ritard at the end of the verse. I, of course, am thrilled.
So . . . when we are performing Kodaly's incredible work . . . I'll be thinking about several things simultaneously:

1. the incredible beauty of the moment - my beautiful choir singing this beautiful lullabye.
2. the love I have for my three girls and the sweetness of our bedtime ritual
3. the wonder of technology - that I can be inspired and moved by a father's love for his son - a composer i've never met - sharing his love for music with his son
4. the tie with the Song of Simeon - the words are said to have been uttered by a man holding the infant Jesus - thanking his heavenly father that he had seen "God's salvation for the world" in the eyes of that little baby.

The translation that we'll use for Esti dal is Mr. Kaulkin's . . .

It will be his words that I meditate upon in the interpretation of Kodaly's music.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Looking ahead

For you eager beavers:

ACDA Probable Program:

Dziedot dzimu (score) (mp3) (info)

Auringon Noustessa (itunes link) look here - sign up required

Haec dies - William Byrd (score) (itunes link)

Regina Caeli - cecilia mcdowall (itunes link)

Death may dissolve me - Mantyjarvi - info

Esti dal - Kodaly (itunes link)

Nunc dimmitis - Miskinis (mp3)

A Hard Line


With the huge year that lies ahead of us, I will be pulling a hard line when it comes to absences at the early rehearsals - and by that I mean the Saturday rehearsals in the first six weeks of school.

Our huge year includes:
1. a concert on Sept. 11 for choral music educators
2. fundraising concerts for the France trip
3. an ACDA regional convention appearance
4. an international choral competition

I have given you dates more than five weeks before the start of class. That is time for you to re-arrange conflicts that appear - now - as our complicated lives come into focus for the fall semester. It's time for you to work out job responsibilities, family responsibilities, and fun trips to the beach or concerts out of state.

If you want to be a part of the fabulous year that we have planned, you need to work out your calendar conflicts with the choir schedule - especially early in the year. I am, and will always be, sensitive to important events that occasionally conflict with what I have planned. But don't count on a successful negotiation.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dates for Concert Choir

This is always a work in progress, but here's what I know now:

8/16 Auditions
8/18 First day of class
8/21 Likely no full choir rehearsal on Friday afternoon. There may be sectionals.
8/22 Saturday rehearsal (9-12 noon)
8/29 Saturday rehearsal
9/11 AMEA Performance (Fall Workshop)
9/19 Saturday rehearsal
10/15 - 10/16 No class - fall break
10/24 Fall Concert
10/25 Possible fundraising concert
10/29 Possible fundraising
11/8 Montgomery Concert?
11/15 Montgomery Concert? (THIS IS THE MOST LIKELY DATE AS OF 7/13)
11/12 Collegiate Choral Festival
12/5 Christmas at the Alys
12/7 Concert Choir Exam Time
12/8 Concert Choir Exam Time
12/10 and 12/11 Probable voice juries
12/13 Possible fundraising concert
12/16 Advent/Christmas Concert at South Highland Presbyterian Church

1/30 UAB Honor Choir Concert
March 10-13 ACDA Convention
April 23 UAB Spring Concert

France possible tour:
5/25 Tues Birmingham AL or ATL Overseas flight
5/26 Wed Chartres Arrive – Chartres
5/27 Thurs Chartres “Warmup” concert
5/28 Fri Tours Florilège Vocal de Tours
5/29 Sat Tours Florilège Vocal de Tours
5/30 Sun Tours Florilège Vocal de Tours finale
5/31 Mon Paris Transfer – visit to Fontainebleau or Versailles enroute
6/1 Tues Paris Concert or Wed. Sightseeing (Louvre)
6/2 Wed Paris
6/3 Thurs Return Flight home

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Create the UAB Choir Logo

Look at this

Pay attention to the upper right hand corner.

Can anyone design something that resembles that?

I'm thinking "UAB" where "OneJoyful" is.

Change "Choir" to "Choirs"

In place of the choir choir robes, alternate our tuxedo - dress - tuxedo - dress - tuxedo look.

Can anyone catch that vision and create it?