I had intended to write this post earlier this week, with enough time to encourage folks to come to last night’s Philadelphia Singers’ concert of music by minimalist composers Glass, Reich, and Bryars…but clearly that didn’t happen! All is well, though, as the concert was very well-attended.

Even though the timing may not be ideal, I still think some of you might be interested in how exactly singers like me learn our music for concerts. As one might expect, there is a great deal of practice involved, especially when an unfamiliar piece is programmed on the concert. In fact, in many times it seems like there is an unproportionate amount of rehearsal when there you spend dozens of hours preparing for only one performance of the piece.

Choral rehearsals for new music can alternately be tedious and frustrating. Not everybody learns at the same pace, and while one person might be weak at counting but strong in hearing unusual intervals, there might be another person in the same choir with the exact opposite strengths and weaknesses. It’s enough to drive a girl to drink!

When I told one of my singer friends all the stuff I was planning on doing in the next month or so, she remarked, “Your voice will be on perma-warm all month long!” It’s true. Between rehearsals, lessons, and my own personal practice sessions, the only time my voice truly gets a rest is when I’m sleeping. And even then, I might be using my voice, as I have a tendency to talk — even sing! — in my sleep. Just ask Ray.

Coming tomorrow: how I prepare for solo stuff…most specifically for my recital this week.

Choral Music
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