Posts Tagged ‘choir’

My First World Premiere!

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Last Saturday I flew in to Dallas to see a world premiere performance of my choral arrangement of Carol of the Bells. It was performed by the Cedar Hill High School Forte Vocal Ensemble, directed by Chris Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes was my choir teacher back in high school about 15 years ago! It was great to reunite with him and see one of my pieces come to life for the first time.

The carol’s mainly in 19/8 meter, which tripped up the choir a bit as they were rehearsing it, as you can gather from my two favorite testimonials from the weekend:

“Singing your piece made me feel like I have Tourette’s!” – a tenor in the choir

“This is like walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls.” – Mr. Rhodes

In the end, it turned out sounding pretty good! Here’s the first performance, with a cool introduction by Mr. Rhodes and the choir demonstrating how they learned the piece and put it all together:

Here is another performance of it during the choirs’ winter concert the following Tuesday:

I’d written this carol back in 2010 for two voices and piano, then arranged it for a 6-part choir the following year. It was so fun to meet the choir and watch them sing. A few came up to me and told me that it challenged them, but that they enjoyed the song. Now I’m all pumped up to write more music!

Choir never gets old.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Yesterday was my first concert singing with Cantori Domino. As one of the biggest choir dorks I know, the past two choirless years were a kind of hell for me. It feels good to get the cobwebs out of my vocal cords.

We sang Claudio Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, 400 years after it was written. We performed it with soloists, double choir, and orchestra. What amazing music; I loved the intricate counterpoint and how he weaved the Gregorian chants into each section. Monteverdi’s was the perfect time period where the Renaissance sonority met the rich Baroque sound, two of my favorite things.

I even had a tiny solo. Well, it wasn’t really a solo, because I sang two verses in Ave Maris Stella (one of my favorite tunes) in unison with two other people. I was even able to emit sound despite my customary stagefright. It took many cups of hot cider and the entire first half of the concert for me to warm up my voice.

I’m getting to know the choir members slowly. Even though rehearsals are no-nonsense (with a few jokes thrown in), I often snicker in the back row quietly to myself. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

If you’re curious about the piece we performed, I’d highly recommend the John Eliot Gardiner version.

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

Today was the first day of school. I’m very excited about this semester, but at the same time very scared. I already have a bunch of reading to do, and there’s a Japanese vocabulary quiz on Friday.

Tomorrow I’m auditioning for Chamber Chorus, so I spent some time practicing a song today. It’s about a person who loves someone no matter how mean s/he is to them. Isn’t that sweet? I feel like nowadays, people aren’t as dramatic about their emotions as in the songs we listen to. Yeah, it’s painful to bare your heart to the world, but life isn’t as fun when you’re all… rational. This is why I’m beginning to care less and less about trying to act normal.

ah, the olden choir days!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

Today, my mom and I were shopping on 3rd street, when I decided to call Christa to hang out with her. It turned out that 10 minutes later, people from our high school choir were meeting up to carol, so a few other alums and I decided to join them. It was fun! We caroled for two hours, though, so we got kind of tired by the end. Then, four other choir guys and I went out to dinner and saw The Incredibles. It was such a coincidence that none of us had seen it before. Anyway, the dinner conversation was so funny I cried. Of course, we talked about whatever guys talk about. Wow, that was the most fun I’d had in a while!

school starts tomorrow

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004

I will be taking:

– organic chemistry

– thermochemistry

– advanced calculus for engineers

– harmony and counterpoint II

– japanese 1

– chamber chorus

If it’s absolutely way more than I can handle, I’ll drop the math.

Sunday, May 30th, 2004

I went to my high school’s last choir concert of the year last night. It’s always an emotional concert because the seniors are leaving. At the end, all the alumni came up on stage and we all sang our school song together. A lot of people cried. Then we went out to dinner. Since the term isn’t over for most of our friends in college yet, there were only four people who were there from our year.. so sad. After the concert, we drove around for a half hour before and after eating because we couldn’t figure out where to go. I was very hyper after the concert and during the late night dinner and it was weird. I hadn’t been that loud and energetic for a very long time, but I did not enjoy the feeling much. I felt as though I shouldn’t have talked as much because none of the things I said were worth seeing. Now it’s the next day and I’m sitting here quietly again.

I am considering switching over to tables for good, but frames work so well for me. So, not until I find a way to update quickly and still make the site look good. I never cared to learn how to make websites better after around 9th grade.

Sunday, May 16th, 2004

Yesterday, I went to my choir director Bill’s condo for an end-of-semester lunch with the choir. We had very good pizza, and Sam and I had to go get some more pizza because we ran out. We all sat around in a circle and talked about choir among other things; Bill’s place was very tastefully decorated.. I was impressed!

After that, when I got back to MIT, I saw that Tulasi was about to cross the street with me. She was going to the Starbucks in Newbury street to study for her finals, so I decided to join her. It was a nice change in scenery. I found out that Tulasi showers three times a day, and she admits that it is weird. Our conversations also consisted of numerous “your mom” jokes that not many other people can understand. When we got back, I studied some more and then went to a Chorallaries concert (coed a cappella). They were cool as well! Thankfully this concert was only 1.5 hours long as opposed to the Logs concert, which was 2.5 hours! Chorallaries didn’t have guests (Logs invited the Muses – all female a cappella group – to sing a few songs in their concert) and a half-hour video/movie thing!

THEN, I spent a large portion of the night getting bummed about not being able to start studying again. This always happens to me. What is wrong with me? Anyway, I’m gonna go study now. after taking a shower.

Sunday, May 9th, 2004

Okay, now I have to wait for a while more while Matlab tries to solve another problem. It’s gonna be a long night! It’s okay though, because tomorrow I don’t have to get up until 5 pm.

We had our choir concert today and it was very fun. I’m sort of glad that we don’t have to sing those songs ever again, but I must admit that I liked performing them quite a bit today. I love getting a high after a concert. We premiered Libby Larsen’s work, so there were all kinds MIT music faculty present.. very important people, including John Harbison, who got a commission from the Pope. And you know what the presence of very important people requires: the reception afterwards had catered food! There was all kinds of stuff: strawberry fondue, all kinds of sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, very good sushi (I had the California rolls again, and wow were they good!), cookies, coffee, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting. Yumm. Thinking about it makes me salivate.

I might get a smoothie tomorrow, because I’ve been craving one today, but didn’t get one because (a) smoothies are cold and bad for my throat and (b) they have milk in them, which is horrible if you wish to sing well afterwards. My voice was croaky all day, but I had tea moments before the concert and it felt very good (it also helped that the concert was in the evening). It’s much easier to sing at night, and I often forget about that because all our rehearsals are at 9:30 in the morning.

Aaaahh!! I got bad results again. I don’t know how to fix this.


Thursday, May 6th, 2004

We have a choir concert on Saturday, and we’re premiering a work by Libby Larsen. Today we rehearsed with the orchestra for the first time, and I must say that the piano reduction doesn’t do justice to the orchestration. It sounds like crap on the piano, but it’s very cool when you hear the whole thing. I’m sure it sounds even better out from the audience. I want to compeu. I’m going to! over the summer.

For breakfast I had an apricot jam crèpe and camomile tea. For lunch I am going to have sushi (California rolls). I buy those cheap packaged sushis at the Building 4 Caf�. It’s funny because I think I only eat them because they look so nice… so presentable. Besides, there are avocado and cucumbers inside.. but when I start eating them, they always taste more bland than I expect them to taste. I guess I’m supposed to put soy sauce on them, but I like eating them plain. I always tell myself that I’m going to try some other kinds of sushi next time (like the spicy rolls), but I’m always attracted to the California rolls because they have avocado in them. If they had a medley of different kinds in a package I’d buy it. Then the next time I’d probably buy the California rolls again.

I’m free!! Kind of.

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Hey everyone, I’m back, kind of. It was a very busy and stressful week! Sadly, this weekend I have events that are going to take more than half of each day, but they’re supposed to be fun: my AXE initiation is tomorrow! I’m excited. And also, the Beethoven’s 9th symphony concert is on Sunday!!! Oh man. It ate up probably over 8 hours of my valuable time this week, but it was so worth it. I’m so glad I’m doing it. It brings me a new appreciation of Beethoven’s genius.

Tonight I’m going to see a Turkish movie again.. it’s the last weekend of the Boston Turkish Film Festival and tonight is the only time I can go.

It’s really hot here.

I guess that’s it for now.

Oh, and last night we picked our rooms for next semester. I was very low on the priority list, being a freshman and all, but I am pretty happy with my room.