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Water Music: 5 premiers, sung and played at the Esplanade on the longest day of the year…this is what I call new music heaven…percussion, brass and voices.  I can’t wait to hear what they all sound like out there, and I cannot imagine what the audience will experience as they wander through the Esplanade island near the Hatch Shell, among and between us performing musicians.  It’s sure to be a great event–I have done other large scale pieces with Maria Finkelmeier, the organizer (“In C”, “Inuksuit” at the Arboretum, playing the wall of the Green Monster during a light show), and trust her implicitly.  These compositions are by Maria herself, Marti Epstein, Anthony Green, Neil Parsons and Manuel Garcia Albornoz.   7:30-9 on Thursday June 21, 2018, the River Charles…

Make Music Boston's photo.

“Up on the Roof” is a classic Carole King song–or is it?  In my Carole King Anthology songbook, published in 1973, she credits “Words and Music by Gerry Goffin and Toni Stern”.  So I’ve always given them credit.  But now that JP Jubilee is singing my new arrangement of the song on their upcoming concert, a lot of singers have looked up the song and find it attributed to Carole alone.   The mystery continues, and it is a GREAT song and a Very Fine Arrangement that fits our SATB group.   I’m proud of them and also delight in hearing them rock out on “Love Potion #9” and a fun take on a Mozart round, using the theme of procrastination, rather than scatalogical references to music critics.   All performed in less than an hour, with ice cream afterwards at JP Licks…

2018s concert4 copy artwork by Lizi Brown

mockingbirdart

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.

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…

 

practicing-instruments

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.

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…

2017s concert jubilee 5 color flat

This is late notice, but hey, it’s good to know at any time that elders can learn to do hip-hop…and I will do a cameo solo in Deborah Henson-Conant’s song about the library, in honor of our return to the newly renovated branch library where we have met since we started in 2013.  Lots of good fun, and short, too!

bach-goines-poster

Sing and play the sublime arias of JS Bach in this 15 week class at New England Conservatory’s School of Continuing Education.  Explore, rehearse, perform and delve into the beautiful intricacies of Mr. Bach’s chamber music for voice and obbligato instruments (flute, oboe, strings, etc). NEC –(scroll down voice page to Bach class)

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*Artwork above by David Lance Goines 1973.  I saw this poster on every Bach lovers’ wall during my formative years of singing Bach in the Bay Area…