Posted on May 20, 2010 by Michael
Here is a letter I recently wrote to my singers in appreciation for all they do. I would imagine the sentiments I feel would be mirrored by many conductors across the country. Singers, thank you for what who contribute to so many people in so many ways.
Dear MOS Friends,
First, I want to thank you for a most remarkable concert this past Friday evening. When you receive a standing ovation in the middle of the concert you figure you must be doing something right! I appreciate, more than you know, all the hard work you put into this concert, especially during the week of the performance (three rehearsals plus a performance is quite a commitment). You sang beautifully and I am very proud of you. Next, I want to express my appreciation for the entire year of rehearsals and performances. Agreeing to be a member of MOS carries with it an acceptance to make many personal sacrifices in order to fulfill what is certainly a demanding schedule. I am very grateful to all of you who have honored that commitment and helped make this one of our finest seasons of music making.
Now we look forward to a new season and to all the possibilities of beauty it will include. Many of you have already gone through the reaudition process (and lived through it) and I’ll be seeing many more of you in the next few weeks. I hope you understand this is something every serious chorus undertakes (some do it every year) and it is essential for our long term growth and improvement.
Don’t forget it’s not too late to sign up for Summer Singers! The group is shaping up nicely (currently about 140), but I’d be happy to have some more of my MOS regulars, especially MEN!
Thanks again for everything you do to enrich my life and the lives of so many others.
Filed under: Choral experiences, Choral rehearsal | Tagged: choral singing, MOS, practice, rehearsal, singers, singing, Summer Singers | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 10, 2010 by Michael
Here is a preview of my program notes for the upcoming MOS concert entitled America’s Heartland: Music of the People. It has been an enormously satisfying program to put together and rehearse and has been a reminder to us all of the beautiful music and words that come from our “folk tradition.”
Folk Song is indeed often considered the music of the people, and for very good reasons. In many cases our folk songs, or at least early versions of them, were brought with our ancestors as they first arrived on the American shore. These songs provided a connection with the country recently departed and the new country recently adopted. As our country grew and people moved westward there would continue to be songs sung and passed down through the generations, which evoked a sense of place. Shenandoah and Red River Valley remind us of the constant desire people have to be “home.” Fun and laughter were also an important ingredient of the songs shared, e.g., Polly-Wolly-Doodle, Skip to My Lou, and Cindy. The sadness of life was evidenced in songs of young men going to war in Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier and lost love in He’s Gone Away and Will He Remember Me? Faith played an important role in the lives of the pioneers, especially as a hard existence was faced with courage and the expectation of a better life beyond this earthly plane. The music of Stephen Foster, America’s first “popular” composer, has even moved into the realm of folk music in the minds of many, when a song such as Oh! Susanna feels as American as any song passed down through the more common oral tradition of folk music.
We hope tonight’s program will remind us of the wonderful heritage of song we have as Americans. May the songs help us recall our history as a people of hope, confidence and resilience, in a country filled with limitless possibilities and opportunities.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: american, concert, folk songs, Heartland, MOS, skip to my lou, tradition | Leave a Comment »