Friday, May 9, 2014

The MYAF experience

Well, the first day I got here was completely nerve wracking. I spent my whole drive to campus worrying about the memorization tests and everything I was going to miss at school while I was gone. Once I got here and found my room (which was a pain) I met one of my roommates. Her name is Aubrey and she sings alto 1.

After that we went to rehearsal. The first hour or so was spent testing everyone. I was somewhere in the middle thankfully and passed my test. They actually sent some people home today because they failed the retest and its scary to think it could've been me. Then from about 1ish to like 5 we just sang and sang and SANG. It was a very long day.

Today wasnt much different. Except rehearsal was a total of 7 hours. They expect us to go to all these events after rehearsal as well but because of my social anxiety I dont exactly want to go. I feel bad, but i would rather not have an anxiety attack in front of a bunch of people i dont know. It didn't help that my dinner wasnt sitting well tonight. I ended up staying in my dorm for the night because of it. Thankfully we were released earlt from rehearsal.

Tomorrow we were given an extra hour before rehearsal because of how hard we worked and how we need vocal rest. Im still nervous about the concert, but also excited to hear it all come together in front of a crowd. Hopefully I can get some videos of it to post.

Wish me luck for tomorrow. Hopefully I wont need it.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The King Shall Rejoice!- G.F. Handel

Background: This is the last out of the five songs I've been working on. This is the only video I could find of the version I am doing. Most others have a very long intro that was edited out of this version for time purposes. Not to mention it is for a full orchestra and we only have a pianist. Anyways, this is the first movement of three for the Coronation of King George II in 1727 written by Handel.

Progress on the song: This song is very typical for its time period which makes it very formulaic. That means it's so predictable it's not very hard to learn at all. My only problem is trying to remember the runs and what goes where. The lyrics are only "the king shall rejoice, the king shall rejoice in thy strength o Lord". That's it. So trying to remember which "rejoice" has what run is slightly difficult. Other than that, I haven't worked on it much because of how easy it is.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Os Justi Meditabitur- Anton Bruckner

Background: This song was written in Latin and I believe is a piece from the bible. The lyrics themselves are short and are repeated like in most motets. They go like this:

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam,
et lingua ejus loquentur judicium.
Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius
et non supplantabuntur gressus ejus.


The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks what is just.The law of his God is in his heart;and his steps will not be impeded.Alleluia.

Progress on the song: I'm not that worried about this song because it's very repetitive when you get the hang of the tune. It's more the lyrics that I'm struggling with. I just need to work on what goes where and how long the words are dragged out. Other than that I'm feeling pretty good about the song.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Song of Democracy- Howard Hanson

Background: The lyrics to this song are from a "An Old Man's Thought of School" by Walt Witman. The poem goes like this:

An old man's thought of School;
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself
Now only do I know you!
O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass!

And these I see--these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning--these young lives,
Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships--immortal ships!
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,
On the Soul's voyage.

Only a lot of boys and girls? 10
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?
Only a Public School?

Ah more--infinitely more;
(As George Fox rais'd his warning cry, "Is it this pile of brick and
mortar--these dead floors, windows, rails--you call the church?
Why this is not the church at all--the Church is living, ever living

And you, America,
Cast you the real reckoning for your present?
The lights and shadows of your future--good or evil?
To girlhood, boyhood look--the Teacher and the School. 

Progress on the song: This is the only song I don't have to have memorized. (Probably because it is 11 minutes long.) Without the pressure of having it memorized it's not as bad, but the fact that I am still singing 32 pages of music isn't fun. It's hard to sing through the whole song at once because of its length so I am trying my best to go over it once or twice every time I practice. I need to get better at practicing every day, but with work, school, Aladdin rehearsal, and trying to have a social life it isn't very easy. Then again, none of this is and it's not supposed to be. I guess I just need to find motivation and make it happen. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

El Vito- Mack Wilberg

Background: El Vito was arranged by Mack Wilberg, and is in Spanish. The lyrics are:

Con el vito, vito, vito
Con el vito, vito va.

No me mires tu chiquilla 
Que me voy a esmorona
No me mires to chiquilla 
Que me voy a desmaya.

Anda vete que no quiero 
Pasar por ti mas fatigas;
Si te digo que te vayas
Que mas quieres que te diga! 

The translation goes a little like this:

Do not look at me, little sweetheart,
Or I will fall in love.
Do not look at me, little sweetheart,
Or I will faint.

Leave me, for I do not want 
to pass through more pain. 
If I tell you to go
What more do you want me to say!

Progress on the song: This song is one I am very worried about. It is 24 pages long and yet it is done in under 3 minutes... That's a lot to spit out. Especially in Spanish. I can say most of the words since I have at least basic Spanish learned, but it's not the best. Counting this piece is extremely difficult due to the fast tempo. It's very easy to get lost. It is one of my most practiced songs and still one of my weakest. Learning this song is going to be a massive challenge...


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Song To The Moon (La Luna)- Z. Randall Stroope

Background: The lyrics to this song are a free paraphrase of a small portion of the original written by Jaroslov Kvapil. It was originally in Czech and was later used by Antonin Dvorak for his opera "Rusalka". This song is never meant to be an exact translation of Kvapil's text, but it captures the essence of the original. Kvapil's plot in the text centers around a water nymph that wants to be a human so she can fall in love with a prince that has been coming to her pond. The text used is from the beginning of the story when the nymph is asking the moon to find her lover (the prince) and tell him that she loves him. 

Progress on the song: This was one of the first songs I started learning and it isn't too terrible. There are some interesting rhythms that can throw me off if I'm not keeping the beat and there are double flats which are never fun when you're trying to learn a piece. I really like it overall. It is a very calming piece and it's very easy to get lost in a song like this which will make the performance that much better.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Break

Over the next week or so I'm going to try to post videos of the songs that I am learning with a brief history and how well it is going on my end when it comes to learning it.

Since it's Spring Break and I took the week off from work I will have pleanty of time to practice. Hopfully this week will help me feel more comfortable about my music so I'm not panicing for the next month.

Wish me luck!