Posted on June 30, 2011 by Michael
I just read an interesting statistic from Chorus America, a fantastic organization that offers support to all kinds of choruses, but especially community choirs. Chorus America shared that there are more American choral singers than there are residents of California, and the population of that enormous state is over 37,000,000. When you think about, that’s an amazing number! In school and university choruses, church choirs, community ensembles, and many other types of choral groups, over 37,000,000 people are gathering on a regular basis to lift their voices in song.
It seems to me this is a statistic worth celebrating. It also makes me wonder what it is that prompts so many people to sing in a group. I know many of the reasons, having heard them from singers through the years, but I’m especially interested in hearing from the readership of this blog. What are some of your most memorable choral experiences and what keeps you involved in choral singing?
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: American choral Singers, choral singing, Chorus America, choruses | 3 Comments »
Posted on June 15, 2011 by Michael
Well, I finally broke down and bought an iPad 2. While I haven’t yet started using it (just got it last night), I’m looking forward to entering the iPad world. I did the same thing with my iPhone a couple of years ago and have enjoyed it thoroughly (constantly discovering interesting new apps), and even a couple of years prior to that when I started loading my CD collection on my iPod (I could listen 24/7 and still not be finished a year from now!)
I’d been considering the purchase of an iPad for several weeks and a recent trip to the annual Chorus America Conference in San Francisco helped “push me over the edge!” I saw many conference attendees using iPads to take notes, view videos, share apps, and assorted other activities that helped enhance their conference experience. I heard discussions about how there might be a time in the future when our choral singers will have all their music on an iPad, or some form of electronic tablet. Not so many years ago, such an idea would have been unthinkable, and now it appears all this could be just around the corner.
There are many folks already exploring fascinating and creative ways to use electronic media to improve our choral music experience, and I know you could do a much better job than I at writing this blog. I therefore invite you now to share some of your ideas, either of things already being done (and the apps that perhaps make them possible), or dreams you may have of how technology could be used in the future. I’m listening!
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: apps, choral music, Chorus America, iPad, Michael O'Neal | 8 Comments »
Posted on June 7, 2011 by Michael
The Michael O’Neal Summer Singers began its 7th Season last night with about 155 voices joining together in selections by such composers as Bach, Haydn, Brahms, Verdi, Bernstein, and others. It was a glorious evening as these folks, representing a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, came together for the shared purpose of making beautiful music. It was exciting for me to feel the energy in the room as we began our two and half hour rehearsal, and although I was a little tired at its conclusion, I was also at the same time invigorated by what we had accomplished. The enthusiasm of volunteer singers is a wondrous thing to witness and I look forward to our summer of music!
At the end of yesterday’s rehearsal, I mentioned a blog I wrote in March 2010 entitled Why We Sing. In that blog I had listed reasons singers had shared with me in the past about why they sang in choruses and I invited new responses to that question. I’m doing the same thing today. We all have an enormous range of possible activities in which we can engage. To sing in a volunteer chorus is a choice from among all those activities. So, why do you choose to sing?
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Bach, Bernstein, Brahms, Haydn, Michael O'Neal, Michael O'Neal Summer, Verdi, Why We Sing | 2 Comments »