What a magnificent handful of months that have passed and what exciting new challenges await!
Thank you to those who were able to come to the encore performance of Les Chemins de L'Amour! It was one of the best performances yet. It's exciting to experience a collection of music grow and expand as a living being.
The last handful of months, I had the great opportunity to build on music skills I haven't truly had to put to use until recently. Composing and Conducting! As Composer in Residence with the San Diego Opera's Words and Music Education Outreach program, I was challenged in new ways to communicate how to write music to reflect what the lyrics were saying as well as how to create moods and emotions through musical colors. This challenge was met working with the kids from Chula Vista High School and Freese Elementary. The high school especially turned out some amazing work that caused the listeners to lean in and be still. It was an honor for me to be a part of that experience and to get to work with the marvelous talents of Cynthia Stokes!
The other challenge I faced (as Universe was likely having a hearty chuckle) was stepping in as Conductor a week and half before opening night for the musical Kiss Me Kate which ran at Canyon Crest Academy. I have informally conducted over the years with groups and individual students, and have sung under many conductors. Apparently, it made sense that I step in knowing the score from working on it with the singers since November. I knew it better than even perhaps I consciously knew. What a thrilling experience! And the exercise! And the instrumentalists! This orchestra was comprised of all high school kids. The sound they created was marvelous and like no sound I've ever heard come from a high school group. It was a pleasure to work side by side with Brian Shay, Nancy Coker, Jeremy Sewell, Kim Walsh, Nicole O'Shea, Amy Villanova, Anne Whatoff and again, Cynthia Stokes!
Just a few days before Valentine's Day, I performed, for the 6th time, my cherished Les Chemins de L'Amour. During this particular performance, some "fun" issues occurred with my props and I hadn't put things where they should have been as well as things deciding to drop of tables and be just out of reach. In hind sight, those experiences made it a touch more real - allowing a more human experience - a more human moment. Clips from the concert will be posted soon as I get the hang of uploading and such to YouTube - (of course it is likely easier than I think...) Big thank yous go to Mary Barranger who collaborated with me on piano and Dr. Fiona Chatwin, founder and Executive Director of Villa Musica.
Now that all of those projects have wrapped up, what's next? I have begun work as Director for Project Cabaret at Villa Musica's Community Music Center. That performance will be in 10 weeks, April 11 and 12th! Be sure to keep your eye on Villa Musica's Website for ticket and performance info - http://www.villamusica.org/
Also, Villa Musica has so graciously assisted in funding an education outreach residency through my private studio. For 12 weeks, I am working with 9 students at the Monarch School, downtown, in group voice. http://www.monarchschools.org/ I've met with the kids already and they are a fantastic and amazing little group made up of Juniors and Seniors. We've been exploring our voices and how to make different kinds of sounds as well as discovering how words have rhythm and songs have a beat, much like a person's pulse.
My Private Vocal Studio is still going strong. Everyone I work with has some personal goal and it's an honor to work with each of them reaching those goals whether it be graduating, going on to college and finding the right music program, achieving better breath support so a lead singer of a band can last longer while screaming, as well as discovering how to tap into the emotions of words and their meanings.
Marvelous discoveries await! Thanks for checking in and come back again soon for more updates!
Very best wishes to you,