Mockingbirds Fly Again!


What a delight to come together with my pals to revisit some delightful song cycles by Fran Trester and learn some new tunes!  Celebrating Scott Woolweaver’s birthday (Mr. Viola to you), John McDonald has written a gorgeous new tune on a poem of Scott’s friend,  Cheryl Savageau, called “Equinox”.  It’s about a goldfinch, natch, because we are all a bit bird- and nature-crazy in this trio.  John plays piano for the rest of the pieces, but this bird song is just viola and contralto and it might rival John’s “The Mockingbird of Mockingbirds”, which was written for a big birthday celebration of mine in 2004.

Here’s the details for the two concerts, both at All Newton Music School                  321 Chestnut Street West Newton, MA 02465   (617) 527-4553

Sunday March 11, 3:00pm  Scott’s birthday bash with nice reception afterwards.  Free, lots of good music for viola and I will be part of the 2nd half.  Includes
“Domestic Affairs” by Francine Trester (10 songs on domestic life, including raccoons in the garbage and a bird named Ruffles) and “Equinox” by John McDonald (premier, described above).

Friday March 23, 11:00am  All-Mockingbird Trio in an informal setting, which includes lunch afterwards.  $30, reservations required.  Program includes Howard Frazin’s “A Wren” and “Lullaby”, song cycles about birds by Francine Trester and John McDonald, his new “Equinox” and “The Mockingbird of Mockingbirds”.  Some on poetry by Denise Levertov; Fran writes her own fabulous lyrics. Howard Frazin’s Viola Sonata is also featured (premier, also being heard on March 11 concert).

How fun is this?  For me, nothing more delightful than singing music that was written for me and my pals, on gorgeous texts and getting to play music with them again after a hiatus (John was on sabbatical,  after being dept. chair and other grown-up duties).

Mockingbird illustration by Lisa French.

B-A-C-H! arias, that is…

4 color Bach

Sing/play Bach arias this semester at NEC–class begins Wednesday February 7, 7:30-8:30pm.  Learn how to choose great arias, rehearse them as chamber music, and make a recitative sound like a great story…details: NEC voice classes

Appropriate for singers who can learn this wonderful music on their own and are comfortable singing in German; also welcome: flutes, oboes, strings, keyboard players…please pass this on and questions welcome…


Creative practicing: not an oxymoron


I recently attended a workshop on improvisation*, and one of the interesting topics was practicing.  Not just figuring out how to improvise over a jazz standard, although we did some of that as well.  Finding new ways into the music, ways to make it more creative and a lot more productive.  I was fascinated, because I had already been invited to offer an evening workshop at the New England Conservatory about the very subject.  I had a lot of ideas before and now I have even more. The free event, for adults of all persuasions (beginners are encouraged), is coming up soon.  Here’s the scoop:

Wednesday January 31, 8-9:30pm, Pierce Hall, New England Conservatory of Music, 241 St Botolph Street, Boston.  Free to all, no NEC affiliation necessary.  Appropriate for all styles.  Bring your questions or even a bit of a song you’d like to ask about…there will be handouts, so if you’re coming, shoot me an email so I know how many to prepare.  No one is required to sing, but there will be opportunities for the group to try exercises together.

*it was a weeklong workshop with two master performers/teachers, Rhiannon and Laurence Hobgood.  In Hawaii.  Poor me.  I did, however, suffer through Boston’s Big Chill before earning the right to get warm.   There was also an exciting false alert sent to my phone about incoming missiles.  Some people have all the fun.

Hallelujah–we’re in 4 parts!

Large color JP Jubilee Dec 2017

My sweet, fun choir of elders (JP Jubilee) is taking a big step this December, performing with a local community orchestra.  We’ve learned the Hallelujah chorus and there are many other sweet holiday pieces on the program, which will be conducted by Geneviève Leclair.  I am spitting proud of my “kids”.  I have relented in my taboo of women tenors–with 72 members and only 11 men, I wisely chose to let our “lady baritones” have their day.  Well, lady tenors.  Post-menopausal and rarin’ to sing!

All proceeds of this concert go to support our program, which is a free class and meets at our local library.

Video montage


Liz sitting at a desk with Emma Suzik holding my hand from behind

Liz with stage daughter Emma Suzik, Kristin Seeger peeking out in the photo behind

There are video and photo montages of the show I sang in North Carolina this past July on this site An Extra Penny.

Scroll down for the video; I appear at about 6:15 and at the end, and on the way you can hear the beautiful music by Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian and view so many of my colleagues.

Starting fresh…

2017 f flyer jP Jubilee6 sm

It’s time to start again–classes, lessons, and the “Birthday of the World”.  Come sing, learn, and have fun in Boston and Cambridge.  Or travel to Cape Cod for the High Holidays where no one needs a ticket to take a seat…Am HaYam meets in Orleans and I’m cantor, conductor and pianist…