Posts Tagged ‘mr. rhodes’

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!

Monday, December 10th, 2001

Mr. Rhodes called Aimee to ask her if her mom could give people rides on Tuesday! Anyway, Aimee told me the whole convo to me afterwards and I thought I’d share.. cuz it’s sorta funny. *grin*

A: Hello?

R: Hi, this is Chris Rhodes

A: Hi Mr. Rhodes!

R: Hi!

A: Hello

R: Oh! Hi Aimee! How are you?

A:Tired…okay…you?

R:Good…goood.. Hold on a minute, my phone is beeping…

A:Okay

R:Aimee?

A:Hi

R:What’s your mom’s first name?

A: Liz

R:Good! That’s what I thought. May I speak to her?

A: Lemme check if she’s home…hold on

R:okay

A:MOooommmmmyyyyyyyy!

(Aimee’s dad) She’s not home!

A: She’s not home at the moment

R: Oh okay…are you expecting her back sometime tonight?

A: Uh…I hope so!

R: *laughs* Hopefully… Can you ask her if she can drive on Tuesday? (Blah..blah..blah)

A: Sure…Okay…yea

R:Thank you!

A: okay sure

R:See you tomorrow

A:K…bye

R:Bye

Haha… we love Mr. Rhodes.

Sunday, November 18th, 2001

Yay Honor Choir! We went there at 9:30, and the concert started tonight at 7:30.. so we rehearsed until then, but we had lunch and dinner breaks in between. It was a really fun experience, especially during the lunch breaks when Aimee and I went around looking for food. At first we were unsuccessful at finding anything edible, but then we found stuff and found a really nice place to sit under the shade and laughed our butts off at everything. But I actually liked the rehearsals, too.. I had a lot of fun singing. Choir takes my mind off of everything else there is in life. That’s why I love it so much.. it’s like another world for me.

The audience was so stupid though.. they included all of my pet peeves in an audience: 1. babies who scream or talk in the middle of a song, 2. pagers, phones, etc. that go off randomly, 3. those who think the song is over and start clapping at the wrong time.

It was so sad. One of the most beautiful songs in the program was ruined at the very end, at the most goosebumpy part, because a baby started screaming and two seconds later a pager went off. Gr. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS WOULD BRING A BABY TO A CONCERT? And.. they SAID at the beginning that this concert was being recorded, and they asked that all the cell phones, pagers, “even digital watches” be turned off. But no. Some idiot keeps his pager on. Gr. Roar.

But good thing that stuff didn’t happen when our choir was singing.. bahaha. I sort of felt bad for the conductor who had to go through that.. if I were in his place, I would definitely turn around, ask to remove the babies from the auditorium, and restate the rule that pagers and cell phones are to be turned off. Then I’d turn back to the choir and make them sing the same song again. That’s what Mr. Rhodes did last year. The then-Madrigals were singing this really beautiful piece, and somebody’s cell phone went off (and that’s the thing Mr. Rhodes gets pissed off at the most).. he finished the song, then he gave this whole lecture on cell phones, and the Madrigals sang the song again to get a clean recording of it.

That’s enough rambling for tonight. Bye!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2001

What I did:

I was going to read a large chunk of a book, but I got sleepy after five pages and decided to take a nap (no offense to the book.. it’s a good book). The last song I heard while drifting asleep was “Atlanta” by the Stone Temple Pilots, I guess my favorite song for now. It’s… so…. pretty.. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and I cry sometimes. I’d mentioned a couple of months ago here that I love those kinds of songs that are so good that you cry.. Anyway, then I dreamed beautiful dreams. It was so nice. I had a party-like thing in my room.. then I was “watching” this sitcom-like thing, then I was walking around by myself on campus with a towel on my head because I’d just taken a shower.. and this guy with a truck was driving past and he made fun of my hair/head/turban-like towel thingy. Then he started following me with the huge truck and surrounded me with it so that no matter what direction I turned the truck was blocking me. I dove into the band room, and there were Garrett and Mr. Rhodes and two more choir people, and I told them what was going on and they offered to hide me. But the evil guy got a bigger truck, and just to scare me, drove it right against the wall so the walls creaked.. if he had gone one more inch he’d probably break down the wall. Then we waited in fear until he left, and that took a few hours. More Madrigal people started coming in and we were all sitting there waiting for the truck to go away. The truck was huge, by the way. It was two or three stories high. I must admit, it was pretty scary. I was gonna die! Hehe.

Then, finally, he quit picking on me and we found out that he was a very nice old man who worked with disabled kids. It was freaky though.

After I woke up, I guessed the first pitch of “Atlanta” and discovered that I’d gone about 1/2-1/4 of a step flat in my course of sleep. Now it’s my third time listening to it. I feel… magical. This song reminds me of rain and of love. I wish it started raining again.. non-stop, every single day from now on. *sighs and stares out the window at the sky*

Sunday, October 28th, 2001

Hello gentlemen!!

For the past three hours I’ve been stupidly reading almost everything and anything there is about All Your Base Are Belong To Us. I feel sad now.. I wish I was into it sooner.. This was such an “obsessive Mel” thing to do..

Speaking of obsessive, this AYBABTU thing reminds me of Mr. Rhodes’ motto, “Join choir!” Sometimes when somebody who’s not in choir enters his room, he points to him/her and says “Join choir!” And once, he’d gotten some instrumentalists to accompany the choir in a concert, and he listed their names on one page of the program and in the bottom he wrote “(join choir)”.. it was SO HILARIOUS! So.. I sort of got swept up in the obsession too. I am currently wearing a bracelet I made that says “Join Choir”, and guess what.. it’s tied on so I never take it off. When Mr. Rhodes saw it he said, “Yaaay!” and hugged me. It was so cute. Also, Aimee and I had contemplated choir merchandise, including bumper stickers that say “Join Choir” and even choir shoes.. and other stuff that I won’t get into.

*decides to actualize the Join Choir thing and puts ‘join choir’ in her AIM profile*

Here’s all sorts of info on AYBABTU. For great justice!!

Thursday, October 18th, 2001

Aimee told me this..

Aimee: Mr. Rhodes is bald!

Amy: You just now noticed?

Aimee: Well, yea…I noticed before but.. he’s balder now!

Amy: By gosh.. you’re right! He is!

*both break into ‘peals of laughter’*

*happy sigh*… Yay choir. Boo life.

Thursday, October 11th, 2001

I know these posts haven’t been really interesting lately. I’m doing it on purpose to drive people away.. hehe j/k.

See, that wasn’t even funny. Grr.

Choir was so funny today. First we couldn’t hear the P.A. announcements because there were helicopters flying around (we don’t know why), and Mr. Rhodes was telling us to be quiet so we could hear, and Garrett yelled, “Turn off the helicopters!” Then we were doing an exercise where we say a couple of consonants in rhythm (it goes, “p.. p.. p.. p.. t.. t.. t.. t.. k.. k.. k.. k.. s.. s.. s.. s.. ch.. ch.. ch.. ch.. sh.. sh.. sh.. sh.. shhhhhhh.”) and Mr. Rhodes told us to do it aggressively, so all the tenors did it so loud that it was funny. Then at the end Mr. Rhodes said, “See, this is why choir is manly!” and that sent me reeling in laughter through half the warm-ups and everyone laughed at me, and I finally had to sit down and Mr. Rhodes said, “One alto down!” Yah.. Hahaha. Then we were going to pick homeroom representatives, so the five nominees were kicked out of the room so we could vote. After the voting was done, we let them back in, and just then the phone rang. It was the teacher upstairs complaining about five guys who were doing vulgar gestures at her class. Mr. Rhodes sent them all to apologize, one of which had a tie tied to his head. And I think there were other funny moments but I forgot..

My point is, choir was just so bizarre today. I love choir.

Sunday, October 7th, 2001

Mr. Rhodes hugged me! It was oh-so-cute. Aimee and Andrea came late to the choir rehearsal today because of a Key Club meeting.. they had the option not to go but they did anyway.. and I didn’t because I thought that today’s choir rehearsal was more important, because Grant Gershawn and Morten Lauridsen were there!!!! So he said, “That’s why I loooove Melike!” and hugged me! It was so sweet!!! I love Mr. Rhodes! YAAAY!

Friday, October 5th, 2001

Man! Choir rules so much! Mr. Rhodes put up some “decorative” signs.. like “Please do not feed the basses,” and the wonderful “Fix your posture” sign pasted onto the clock so you see that whenever you look to see what time it is. Haha! Anyway, we’re going to be singing Mozart’s Requiem this year.. I am sooo excited! It’s so beautiful and great!

I just read this really long compilation of people’s responses to a question about solfege.. should it be based on a fixed do, or a movable do and la-based minor? Most people’s choice was the movable do, of course. It is soo easy. Yay solfege!!! Choralist gets pretty interesting at times.

Those are all my comments for now.. see you later folks.

Saturday, September 29th, 2001

I’m consuming my third cup of warm tea today. It tastes so good. I hope my voice gets better by tomorrow.

Ugh.. I think I need to take an SAT now.. it sucks because I get to miss my SAT prep class.. wow, which is more attractive, auditioning for a very important choir that I made it into last year (no pressure, right??), or taking a diagnostic SAT test? Argh..

But yeah.. choir geekdom is so fun. I think I have found my new obsession. Nothing brightens my day like choir. Mr. Rhodes is so funny, I love the music we sing, and I love the atmosphere and the people, and how I don’t get pissed off at people as much because I’m in one of the two most advanced choirs in the school now.. so everybody there fits my “musicality standards” i.e. they don’t reach the limit where I totally get pissed off and want to start screaming and just tremble in my chair. Anyway, my point is, it’s very fun to obsess over choir, because Mr. Rhodes actually supports obsessing, and keeps telling people that he loves me because of it! Yay Mr. Rhodes loves me! Today he talked about this new choir merchandise.. like choir t-shirts, choir zippered hoods, choir chef’s aprons, and choir sweatpants! YAY CHOIR PANTS! I SO want them all. I’m serious, I’m going to buy them all.. even though I don’t cook.. I suggested choir socks, but he said that’d be expensive because you’d have to embroider the socks.. But how cool would it be to have embroidered choir socks..? Wow, I’d really pay money for those.

See? See? Obsession, tis good!! It’s a way of life, mon… just like choir. Being obsessed about choir is the way to be.