Posted on March 27, 2012 by Michael
The Michael O’Neal Chamber Singers are currently performing a program entitled Double Exposure. The concert includes “pairings” of pieces of the same text, but by different composers, e.g., Ave Maria by Busto and Biebl, and Sure on this Shining Night by Barber and Lauridsen. We have three scheduled performances of the concert (we just concluded one at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church and still have two more to go at Berry College and Peachtree Presbyterian Church). In each of these performances we are asking the audience members to pick their “favorite” piece in each pairing. At the conclusion of the series of concerts we will post the “winners” on our website and our FB page. Each audience member is presented with a paper ballot at the beginning of the concert and asked to complete it as the music is performed. The ballots are then collected at the end of the concert. I believe this involvement by the audience is great fun. Not only does it encourage them to listen more intently, but in an age where we seem to crave multisensory experiences in our entertainment (think sound, sight, touch, smell), it also adds an additional element of involvement to a typical choral concert.
So my question for you today is – what other audience participation experiences can you imagine for a choral concert? These can be actual approaches that have already been tried by you or someone else or something you’ve just come up with. Naturally, audience sing-alongs have been around for years, so I’m looking for something other than that. OK, I’m ready for suggestions!
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Alpharetta Presbyterian, audience participation, Barber, Berry College, Biebl, Busto, Chamber Singers, morten lauridsen, Peachtree Presbyterian, sing-alongs, The Michael O'Neal Chamber Singers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 12, 2012 by Michael
The Michael O’Neal Chamber Singers, our twenty-eight voice ensemble recognized for its ability to perform everything from Renaissance motets to contemporary vocal jazz, will be presenting a program in late March entitled Double Exposure, a fascinating exploration of how different composers have approached the same text. Three performances of this concert will be presented at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church on 3/25, Berry College on 3/27, and Peachtree Presbyterian Church on 3/29.
Choral music has one major difference from instrumental music, and that is the use of words with the music. For choral composers, the text is of enormous importance, and the most common approach is to take an existing text and create music which will complement the meaning found within those words. In Double Exposure we are able to hear how a variety of texts have been treated by “pairs” of composers, and the result is to discover how two individuals can often interpret so differently the same text. As Alice said to Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.” This concert answers the question! The audience members will even have the opportunity to get involved in the concert by being asked to vote on their favorite selection in each of the pairings.
A wide variety of texts are included in Double Exposure, including O Magnum Mysterium, Ave Maria, Sure on this Shining Night, Shenandoah, and Little David, Play on Your Harp. Composers will range from Victoria, Bach and Vivaldi to Biebl, Barber, and Lauridsen.
All this makes me wonder if you have some favorite pairings? I’ll start the ball rolling by mentioning two pieces with the same text by two composers (by the way, this is not in the concert!). The text is In the Bleak Mid-Winter and the composers are Gustav Holst and Harold Darke. Okay, now what are your contributions to this list?
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Biebl, Darke, de Victoria, Holst, morten lauridsen, Shenandoah, The Michael O'Neal Chamber Singers, Through the Looking Glass, Vivaldi, Wilberg | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 22, 2010 by Michael
I’ve always been impressed with and appreciative of those persons who give more than is required. I call them the “extra milers” and they can be found at work, school, play, and most definitely, at choral rehearsals. At least, that’s where I come in contact with many of my “extra milers.” I’m lucky to have many committed singers in each of my choruses, but it is specifically the members of The Michael O’Neal Chamber Singers of whom I wish to speak today. Within the past week and a half, these talented and hard-working vocalists have sung two phenomenal concerts and I am very proud of them. A requirement for being a Chamber Singer is that he or she must also be a member of the regular MOS chorus, thus necessitating that between the two choirs a large amount of music must be learned! The Chamber Singers have risen to the challenge and will now concentrate, with their fellow MOS members, on the Irish music to be performed in less than three weeks.
My point in sharing these thoughts is simple. Primarily, I just want to say a public thank you to my “extra milers,” but I also wish to remind us all that life is relatively short, no matter how many years we have. Therefore, let’s spend those years (and the months, weeks, days, hours and minutes that comprise them) doing things in which we can ultimately take pride. So here is a heartfelt expression of gratitude to all of you who try to go the “extra mile.” Add to that a word of congratulations to all of us (myself included) who have been blessed to have those “extra milers” in our lives.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Atlanta Chamber singers group, Chamber Singers, mosingers.com, The Michael O'Neal Chamber Singers | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 10, 2008 by Michael
Yesterday afternoon’s concert by The Michael O’Neal Singers, The Michael O’Neal Chamber Singers, and the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet was a perfect reminder of why I enjoy live performance so much. Admittedly, the fact that everyone performed beautifully added much to my enjoyment, but it was more than that. What struck me most about the concert was the communication that took place between and among performers, conductor, and audience. And let’s face it. This communication can never take place when listening to a CD or mp3 or watching a DVD. Perhaps you can imagine the communication or even recall it (if the recording is one in which you participated), but you can’t experience the communication unless you’re present when it is happening. In a world in which we find ourselves increasingly experiencing music alone as we listen to our iPods and view YouTube videos on our computers, it is refreshing to create live music and experience it with others. What are your thoughts about live vs. recorded performances? Pros and cons are cheerfully accepted.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet, audience, communication, live performance, recorded performance, singers, The Michael O'Neal Chamber Singers, The Michael O'Neal Singers | 1 Comment »