Monday, April 16, 2012

Chamber Choir's last concert of the year

Chamber Choir sang its last concert of the year yesterday.  It's hard to put into words what we've accomplished over two semesters, but we all know it's a heck of a lot.  I really couldn't be more proud.

We're graduating four lovely ladies: Melanie Scalfano (music), Lori Larson (music), Jackie French (psychology), and Maryanne Knupp (nursing).  We'll miss them, but I have no doubt they'll move on to bigger and better things.

Monday, April 9, 2012

UAHuntsville Chamber Choir says Good-Bye to Dr. Bowyer

The UAHuntsville Music Department's Chair, Dr. Don Bowyer, is leaving his current post and will be taking a position at Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Arkansas State in Jonesboro, AR.  We'll miss him.  The faculty presented him with an executive chair at our departmental concert at the Von Braun Center last week.

The Ch/C and Dr. Bowyer
March 31, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

UAHuntsville Chamber Choir Recent Tour of Southern Cal

The Chamber Choir had a GREAT time in Southern Cal.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate when we first arrived: it was cold and windy!  Very un-california.  But we survived.  As the students gorged themselves on In-and-Out and played frisbee in a park, we prepared for a long week.

Curtis: Hammer Time
On Monday, we visited the campus of USC, my alma mater (M.M. '04 and D.M.A. '07).  FIGHT ON!  We had a great clinic with Dr. Scheibe at USC.  I think he was very impressed, especially after he realized there are only 8 music majors in the entire choir!  Dr. Scheibe then asked if we would sing for the USC Chamber Singers during their rehearsal at 2pm.  We had lunch on campus, and I got to visit with some dear friends.  (We also ran into Matt Barkley...hubba, hubba...)  The students were enamored of USC's campus, which is even more beautiful than when I was a student there.  They have completely renovated the student union, and it's gorgeous!  After lunch, we watched their rehearsal (in the Charles Hirt Choral Rehearsal Room), and then sang for them.  Both experiences were invaluable for the singers.  We thank the singers and Dr. Scheibe both.
At the United University Church on the USC Campus, with Dr. Scheibe
Tommy Trojan and Traveler, his horse
Watching the USC Chamber Singers rehearse in the Charles C Hirt - my husband's mentor and the founder of the church music degree at USC -- Rehearsal Room
Ann-Marie and Maryanne at USC
Later that evening, we visited Santa Monica and the 3rd Street Promenade.  Many of the students visited the famous Santa Monica pier and did the normal touristy things.
Zach and Sean pulling a "Titanic" at the Santa Monica Pier
Ann-Marie and John in Santa Monica
Ferris Wheel in Santa Monica
Sean at the beach in Santa Monica
I felt it important to their education that I show them the Scientology Centre
On Tuesday, we visited Cal State University, Fullerton, where my dear friend, Rob Istad, is the Director of Choral Studies.  He gave us a little tour of the campus, and then we met the students that sing in the "University Singers".  We sang for each other and had a wonderful time.  Both choirs sang beautifully.  I am consistently impressed with Rob and the work he does there.  We later went to Heroe's for a few beers and many laughs.
Rob and the CSUF University Singers (Grant Rohr at the piano)
UAH Chamber Choir at CSUF's Meng Hall
Warming up for an exchange with CSUF's University Singers
Dr. Istad and I modeling our hats at Heroe's pub in Fullerton, CA
On Wednesday, we spent the day at Disneyland and California Adventure.  Since we had 3 vans, each van left at a different time to accommodate the die-hards and the not-so-die-hards.  The first van left at 630am (God Bless!)  My van left at 9am, and Lori and her crew came around noon.  All had a great time.  You can tell by the pics...thankfully, the weather cleared up and it was the perfect day.
Tower of Terror
Fun Crew
The Ladies
Ryan, James, and Sean in line for a ride
Nikki, at DisneyLines
We stayed for the fireworks, which were magical.  I usually don't get excited by stuff like that, but I found myself clapping for Tinkerbell.  Weird?  A little.  After a long drive home (and a little dance party in the van), we got some serious sleep and woke up ready to go to the Getty on Thursday. The Getty is a beautiful museum perched upon the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains off the 405.  Its collection is nothing to scream about, but the views alone are worth the visit.  The students had enough time to visit some of the newer exhibits and get some good pictures.
Bass Love: Matt, Rob, and Ryan at The Getty
One of the gardens at The Getty
Group Shot
Daniel and Jackie at The Getty
Jasmine, Michael, and me
Later that evening, we had our first concert at St. James Episcopal in South Pasadena.  It was a beautiful space.  The church music guild fed us a meal, AND prepared a reception for the performers after the concert.  We shared the concert with the Cincinnati Boys Choir, conducted by Chris Eanes, one of my classmates from USC.

The boys sounded wonderful, and so did the UAH Chamber Choir.

Rehearsing in the space @ St. James
After the concert, I took the 21+ crowd out to some fun places in Hollywood.  The Sunset Strip was its usual crazy self, and we had a lot of fun.  One of the things that two of our "non-traditional" students (i.e. over age 40) noted about this trip was that they enjoyed getting to know the college students personally over the course of the trip.  It was also fun to watch these ladies get away from the responsibilities of home and have some fun and make some great music.
I have no idea what is happening here.
On Friday, we made our way to Disney Hall for a very special tour designed especially for us.  Daniel Song, operations manager with the LAPhil
Group Shot outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall's Main Entrance
The Performance Space @ Disney Hall
From there, we drove to my old stomping grounds, Redondo Beach.  Many of us had lunch at a beachy venue or did some Beach Shopping.  Pic below is of a few of us eating at one of my old hangs, Hennessy's on the Strand @ Hermosa Beach.  The roof deck has a great view of the ocean.

A few students actually went swimming, against my better advice.  The Alaskan current is pretty cold at this time of year!

Ryan, me, Rob, Jasmine and Michael, enjoying lunch at Hennessy's in Hermosa Beach
Melanie, Lori, and Kirstin @ Hennessy's
Frisbee at Hermosa Beach
One Soggy Tenor
Following our day at the beach, we were fortunate to sing at Redondo Beach's Riviera United Methodist Church as part of their Music Series.  One of my classmates from USC is their Music Director, Dawn
Brooks.  It was great to see her and her family.  We shared the stage that night with Chris Eanes and the Boys' Choir, again.  This time, however, Horizon Music Group, also sang, conducted by another classmate of mine, Christian Campos.

Horizon is made up of mainly pro-singers -- many of these singers either sang with Bill in the USC Chamber Choir or currently sing in the USC Chamber Singers with Dr. Scheibe.  It's a very fine group, and they did not disappoint.  After this concert, we had a farewell dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach (on the Marina).  Each section had some GREAT skits, and we had a lot of laughs.
Singing at Riviera United Methodist
Our last day in Los Angeles was spent packing up; we had to check out by 12.  The students were allowed a few precious hours of free time to explore Guitar Center or go shopping, etc.  At 3pm, we departed for our last venue: Immanuel Presbyterian on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown (near downtown L.A.).  We had an early soundcheck and then split up for dinner.  I encouraged the students to have some of the local cuisine.  I LOVE Korean BBQ!  Many of them did.  I spent some time at a Brazilian place with my dear friends Scott and Becky, who came to our concert.
Waiting for Soundcheck @ Immanuel Presbyterian
Rose Window @Immanuel
The students sang beautifully; unfortunately, we had to leave immediately after our performance to catch our red-eye flight out of LAX.

We had a bit of trouble getting checked in, but we made it in plenty of time.  We got to Atlanta in the early morning and then had a four-hour layover.  UGHH!  Many slept in undesirable places at the airport, but made it work.

Overall, we had a great time and many adventures!

Sometimes Choir Love has no words
Old friends: Christian (Campos) and Me
Sopranos: Jackie, Stephanie, Michele, and Nikki
Will and Brittany
Soprano Love: Nikki and Carolyn

Friday, March 9, 2012

UAHuntsville Tour of Southern Cal Starts with a Bang in Huntsville

The UAHuntsville Chamber Choir will tour Los Angeles with a program of new music and works from the choral canon. On the program are the sublime "Six Chansons" by Paul Hindemith, set to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Also on the program is the “Kyrie” and "Gloria" from Palestrina’s "Missa Papae Marcelli", written for Pope Marcellus II while simultaneously satisfying the mandates put forth by the new Council of Trent. The Choir will feature their pianist, Curtis Lindsay, while performing Brahms’ "Sehnsucht", op. 112, no. 1 along with the humorous "Neckerein", op. 31, no. 2. The music of contemporary English composer Tarik O’Regan will also be in the spotlight with a performance of "Threshold of Night", made famous by the well-known professional choir Conspirare’s recent recording. Finally, the choir will close with a well-known spiritual, "Precious Lord", followed by Gustav Holst’s setting of "Nunc dimittis".

Please join them for their final concert in Huntsville before they depart for sunny SoCal.

Concert will be held of St. Mary's Church of the Visitation in downtown Huntsville on Friday, March 16 at 730pm.

Our L.A. tour dates are as follows:

Monday, March 19
Workshop with Dr. Scheibe at the University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, March 20
Choir Exchange with Cal State Fullerton's University Singers
Fullerton, CA

Thursday, March 22
w/Cincinnati Boy Choir (Chris Eanes, conductor)
St. James Episcopal, Pasadena, CA

Friday, March 23
w/Cincinnati Boy Choir and Horizon Music Group (Christian Campos, conductor)
Riviera United Methodist, Redondo Beach, CA

Saturday, March 24
w/Cincinnati Boy Choir and Horizon Music Group (Christian Campos, conductor)
Immanuel Presbyterian, Los Angeles, CA