… because as anyone here knows, I love choral music.

Ralph Hoffmann: She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways
NUS Varsity Voices; Nelson Kwei, Conductor

She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
—Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

Jean Berger: Glory Be To God
The Concordia Choir; D. Michael Smith, Conductor

Tschesnokoff: Salvation is Created, arr. N. Lindsay Norden (English translation)
National Lutheran Choir; Dr. David Cherwien, Conductor

Ola Gjeilo: Evening Prayer
Festival Singes of Florida; Kevin Fenton, Director; Umcolisi Terrell, Tenor Saxophone

Watch, O Lord,
with those who wake,
or watch or weep tonight,
and give your angels charge
over those who sleep.

Tend your sick ones,
O Lord Jesus Christ;
rest your weary ones;
bless your dying ones;
soothe your suffering ones;
pity your afflicted ones;
shield your joyous ones;
and all for your love’s sake.
Amen.

James Deignan: Et Innocentum (from Hildegard von Bingen’s Rex noster pomptus est)
Luther College Nordic Choir; Andrew Last, Conductor

Our King stands ready
to accept the life-blood of the Innocents.
Let angels sing and sound praises
while the clouds grieve over that same blood.

However the Tyrant is suffocated
in heavy sleep by his own malice.

And the clouds grieve over that same blood.

Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As the clouds grieve over that same blood.

I am playing The King & I this week. It’s a short run, which these days is somewhat typical in our area. It is NOT typical that we actually have five strings, a harp, four woodwinds, four brass (if I counted correctly!), percussion and only one keyboard player. I’m loving the larger group!

But here is how this works, and why one has to be on her toes:
We have our first rehearsal Tuesday morning, from 10:00 until 2:00 (although we actually were released 20 minutes early).

Oh … and we have our last rehearsal Tuesday morning, from 10:00 until 2:00.

Yep. One rehearsal.

Then a sound check happens from 5:30 to 6:30.

Opening that same day at 7:30.

We are able to get our music ahead of time, as they send out practice parts. We can watch a video of the conductor doing a show if we have the time (that isn’t usually the case since many of us are doing something else prior to moving to this. I had opera and lots of students).

So one has to be quite attentive at that first performance. Sometimes I can’t quite remember how we begin … does he give 1-2 first? Does he just give a prep upbeat? Fortunately this conductor is quite clear, and much of the time a player has written in the part about the prep, although a few times that pencilled in bit isn’t what the conductor does.

We also have to deal with new parts when we arrived Tuesday morning and boy was mine a mess! The parts are loose … no books, but separate parts for each number. There is so much music that our stands then to start to fall down so we have to use gaffer’s tape to keep that from happening. (I always have a few extra pieces on the bottom of my tray that attaches to the stand, in case I can’t get to the tape quickly enough.) I suspect the reason they don’t put books together is that changes take place as the run begins, and there are times a number has several versions for key changes (different singers, different keys).

But oh my part! Names of notes written above notes. Fingerings that I question. Circled items that are difficult to see because the circling is so dark. (And in the musical theater world “circling” sometimes means don’t play … something I learned once when a conductor kept saying to someone “circle it!” and the player insisted she did … which to her meant pay attention and play that correctly!) I bring a good eraser for the things I know might throw me. I do appreciate many of the marks, but I wonder why several people feel the need to rewrite the same instructions!

In any case, opening night went fine. Wednesday night was fine although I did a few things I didn’t like and water in the keys was an issue.

But pacing, pacing, pacing. Yesterday I only had three students and one show, so it was an easier day and I spent it cleaning and relaxing. (And yes, I find cleaning to BE relaxing!) Today is another three student day, and I’m not even sure I’ll do much cleaning. At my age much of survival is about that pacing! To think that I used to do shows in San Francisco: eight shows per week, six miserable drives per week. I don’t know how I stayed sane!)

And now … time to listen to some beautiful music to get ear worms out of my head. I love the musical, and I think it’s still so relevant, but ear worms are not my friends. I will NOT be whistling a happy tune at all today.

Oops, start up that ear worm, shall I?

Jake Runestad: Let My Love Be Heard
UNT A Cappella Choir

A Prayer
by Alfred Noyes
Angels, where you soar
Up to God’s own light,
Take my own lost bird
On your hearts tonight;
And as grief once more
Mounts to heaven and sings,
Let my love be heard
Whispering in your wings.

Ivo Antognini: Jesu Dulcis Memoria
Varsity Voices of the National University of Singapore Choir; Nelson Kwei, Conductor

J. S. Bach: Der Geist hilft unsrer Scwachheit auf (BWV 226)
UNT Collegium Singers; Richard Sparks, Conductor

Playing an oboist gave Kirke a crash course in classical music: she now knows how to pretend to play the oboe with the best of them. Doing so convincingly requires “high self-esteem … because it is not pretty.” Kirke demonstrated onstage for the Bell House audience, turning her lips inside out and puffing her cheeks until they turned red.

Um … really? INSIDE OUT?!

I read it here.