04. February 2006 · Comments Off on Tonight · Categories: imported, Ramble

No performance or rehearsal for me tonight. Instead my husband and I will be attending Lincoln High School’s Java & Jazz show. It’s great fun (I KNOW because last night I worked at the performance so I got to see and hear a good portion of the show). We’ll have desserts and coffee, and hear a bunch of talented kids sing both Beatles tunes and other songs of their choice. (The groups sing Beatles and when the solo they sing other songs.) There were a couple of times when I was a bit teary—yes, pop and jazz can do that to me too. And of course Jameson did a fab job! (Had to toss in “fab” here somewhere, you know?) In addition to the group work he does, he sings I Get a Kick Out of You on his own, has a solo part in Lennon’s Imagine, and (hoorah!) sings my all time fave Beatles’ song Here, There and Everywhere. This mom, setting aside all biases and motherhood and anything else that might make her seem a bit partial to her son still thought he was wonderful.

There were a few others that blew me away, too. One, in particular, was stunning. I can’t even remember what she sang now (I’ll bring the program home and update this later), but man she was good. Intonation. Style. Music! And a good stage presence as well. Her mom was standing right next to me as she sang so I told her how good her daughter was and that I hadn’t seen her before. Only after the performance did I realize I had met and worked with the girl three years ago when I coached the double reeds for the band camp prior to the start of the school year. (Kids change a lot from their freshman year to their junior year. And I’m a bit forgetful. Put those two together and you can see why I might not have recognized her, can’t you? Please allow me these excuses!) This young girl was, at that time, a very beginning bassoonist! She has since gone quite far on bassoon. And now I find out she can sing like you wouldn’t believe.

But why not? She’s a double reed player, after all.

And that makes me think about instrumental music and singing. I’m not a good singer, mind you. Not even close, although I can harmonize okay. (Oh how I would love a beautiful voice. Sigh.) Singing can help an instrumentalist with phrasing, and I would encourage all of you who play an instrument to join a choir at some point. Or go to church and sing there if you are blessed to find a church that still uses good music. (Grumble, grumble; I won’t go on, but churches and music … well … I have a major complaint about a lot of churches and their idea of what music is.)

I had the advantage of growing up in a family that sang together sometimes. In harmony. We also attended church and I sang in the youth choir there. I sang in a choir in elementary school too. (I still remember Tea for Two, Chatanooga Choo Choo, I Want To Be Happy, and a few other songs we sang.) One of my (now long lost) friends and I used to sing all the time together. (We harmonized on Barney Google, The Yosemite Village Store, and many more silly songs.) Singing was something that just happened in my life—at home, at church, at school, on vacations. I don’t know that that is the case any more. So join a choir! Learn how to sing, learn how to phrase. Watch how the words work with the line of music. Then pull out your instrument and sing through that.

04. February 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

I stole everything that I heard, but mostly I stole from the horns.

-Ella Fitzgerald