Tour to Colorado

Tonight we had our Free “Bon Voyage” Concert, and tomorrow we leave for Colorado.  Another tour with BYU Singers means lots of time on the bus traveling sitting down, eating, waiting, singing, repeat.  Sitting, waiting, eating, singing, repeat.

I’m looking forward to digging into Walden by Thoreau and A Hidden Wholeness by Palmer.  Maybe I’ll take the William Butler Yeats book as well.  I’m also looking forward to seeing some BYU Singers alum in the area.  I love meeting up with old friends again.

Well, I probably wont be checking in for a while, but I’ll be back in two weeks.  Wish us luck!  Now it’s time to start packing.

My Friend’s New Piano

My friend Mariah (also our pianist for University Chorale) just graduated with her degree in Piano Performance.  Her family also just invested in a new grand piano for their place up in Hobble Creek Canyon.  A FAZIOLI!!!  I was with Mariah when she was trying out new pianos at Baldassin and Daynes in Salt Lake.  Pramberger, Shimmel, and Steinway were all on the list, but once she tried the Fazioli, it was all over.

We were both impressed by a lot of pianos though (Shimmel actually surprised me in a very good way), but the Fazi just seemed to know what we were thinking before we played it.  It just seemed to anticipate what we wanted, and responded very well.  It’s tone is clear and well-defined without losing any roundness or richness.

Anyway, their family graciously invited me to their graduation/new piano party and wow, does that thing just impress me more and more.  I had the opportunity to play it a few times and it’s incredible.  Makes me wish I could play Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninov and Chopin and just go to town.

Happy Graduation Mariah!

I'm not sure if this is the exact model they got but, whatev.

University Chorale Concert

Our concert last night went EXTREMELY well.  I feel like all of us really stepped up to the plate in a big way.  I feel really good about what we’ve done.  I especially feel like our Liebeslieder Waltzes went tremendously well.  I could not be more proud.  We did have a little misshap when our organist forgot to come on stage for “O Nata Lux.”  The first moment I think “PANIC!”  The next moment I look over at Mariah and ask her to play it on piano.  Not what I was hoping it would sound like, but it worked.

This semester conducting the University Chorale has been life-changing and a huge paradigm shift in the way I conduct and lead an ensemble.  I’ve learned a great deal of lessons, and I’m not saying that because that’s what everyone expects me to say, I really have.  The trick is making sure these lessons stick.  I’ve loved working with these wonderful people and seeing them grow.

Now the hardest part of a choir with 180 participants is getting their grades calculated and imputed.  This’ll take a while, wish me luck!

End of Semester Sprint

We’ve got two more days of the semester left here at BYU with finals next week.  Here in the School of Music though, we like to get everything done BEFORE finals, so these last two weeks it’s been a sprint to finish everything before deadlines.  I only really have three classes: Music Research Techniques, Counterpoint and Conducting Lessons, but getting everything done has been a challenge.

Our last day of class is tomorrow (Wednesday) which also happens to when my choir (University Chorale) is singing our final concert.  This also happens to be my graduate recital.  No pressure right?  It’s at 7:30 in the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center.  Tickets are $3 and we’ve got something for everyone.  Here’s a re-post of our program.

Gloria (from Missa in Tempore Belli “Paukenmesse”)    Josef Haydn

The Light of the World
O nata lux                        Thomas Tallis
Christ the Lord is Risen Today                arr. Joseph M. Hoffman
O Thou that art the Light                    Gabriel Jackson

Lovesong Waltzes (Liebesliederwaltzer) Johannes Brahms
No. 9 “Am Donaustrande”
(On Danube’s border)
No. 11 “Nein, Es Ist Nicht Auszukommen”
(No, I will not listen to them)
No. 15     “Nachtigall, Sie Singt So Schön”
(Nightingale, you sing so sweet)

Scoundrels and Scallywags
False Sir John                        Daniel Burton
High Barbary                            arr. Gregg Smith

We’re hoping for a large-ish crowd.  Anyway, that’s what I’ve been focusing on lately.  After this is off to Colorado with BYU Singers!