Off the Risers: Life as a Singer – Susanna
It’s officially Fall! So it’s a little late for a “what I did on my summer vacation” post, but I’ll just talk about the highlight: In July, I sang for the second time with the Minnesota Beethoven Festival Chorale in Winona under Dale Warland. Lots of fellow capital-S Singers were there, as well as many other fine singers from other choirs including (current and formerly) VocalEssence, Minnesota Chorale, Kantorei, Dale Warland Singers, and Cantus. We stayed in college dorms for a week, making it sort of a “choir camp” experience for adults–meaning plenty of margaritas and late-night kubb tournaments! This year’s concert was particularly special because we premiered “Seasons”, the official final composition from internationally-renowned, Twin Cities-based composer Dominick Argento. This was such a thrill, not only because of the wonderfulness of the piece and the significance of premiere, but personally for me, because I studied and performed several Argento solo pieces in college and I’ve always admired his work. I felt really lucky and proud to be part of that historic musical moment!
Now, back to the present! The Singers have been back in full swing for a few weeks already. Three rehearsals under our belt, and our first concert coming up this Friday! Ambitious, no? “Ambition” is a good word to characterize this year, I think. With our concert season front-loaded with a full season preview, a community concert a week later and a concert of very challenging (and sublime) repertoire a couple weeks after that, we are heading into the year full steam ahead. We also have ambitious goals to grow as an organization, aiming for higher ticket sales with new audience members, more season ticket holders, more donors, and more donations. Disclaimer: I am under no pressure to blog about those goals, but to me, syncing organizational goals with artistic goals helps to crystallize what it means to be a Singer. At our first rehearsal, we took time for “sectionals” where we met with our respective sections and talked about our own goals for the year, and it was interesting to hear people express not only musical goals but also the desire to help move the group forward outside of our rehearsals and concerts. It’s great to be back with a group that commits to high standards and has a vision for the future.
Until next time (or until Friday, I hope)!