Posted on February 27, 2012 by Michael
This post is being written in the early morning of the day after an amazing concert by The Michael O’Neal Singers. There is no doubt the members of the chorus were tremendously ”aided and abetted” by the excellent Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra, and four outstanding vocal soloists (Katie Baughman, Heather Witt, Adam Kirkpatrick, and John LaForge), but this post is directed toward my beloved chorus. I am filled with thankfulness today for singers who have poured their hearts and souls for the past seven weeks into the preparation of one our great choral/orchestra masterpieces, the Mass in C Major by Ludwig van Beethoven. During the rehearsal process I have observed with appreciation as the singers have exibited a growing understanding of the music and an empathy with the intentions of the composer. All this resulted yesterday afternoon in one of the most satisfying concerts it has ever been my privilege to conduct. A major goal of any conductor is to be “in sync” with his or her ensemble. I felt that connection with MOS yesterday and I am enormously grateful for the experience.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Adam Kirkpatrick, Beethovhen, Heather Witt, John LaForge, Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra, Katie Baughman, Mass in C Major, Michael O'Neal, MOS, singers | 11 Comments »
Posted on December 5, 2011 by Michael
I was honored to conduct the members of MOS yesterday aftenoon in a concert which featured some absolutely beautiful singing, not only by them, but also by our special guest, The Georgia Regional Girls Choir. The last several rehearsals for this concert have been especially intense as we have concentrated on refining our sound and performing with a commitment to clarity, precision, and sensitivity. MOS did all this extremely well yesterday and in so doing gave me an early Christmas present (something highly prized by choral directors, which is the knowledge that the entire chorus is “with” you in your interpretation of the music). It was a joy conducting the first three pieces of the program: Kopylov’s Heavenly Light, Lauridsen’s O Nata Lux, and Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque. It was also very satisfying to lead the chorus in Rutter’s What Sweeter Music, and I suspect our Associate Conductor, John LaForge, felt equally delighted with how MOS responded to his conducting of Wilberg’s settings of Away in a Manger and Fum, Fum, Fum.
All in all, this was one of those concerts which reminded me how lucky I am to be a choral director. To be able to study, rehearse, and perform beautiful music with a group of talented, committed, and caring singers is a remarkable privilege, and one I do not take lightly. Thank you MOS!
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: eric whitacre, Georgia Regional Girls Choir, John LaForge, john rutter, Kopylov, Mortin Lauridsen, MOS | 1 Comment »