Monday, November 27, 2006

Why J.K. Rowling doesn't really know what boarding school is like...

At Hogwarts...

1. The food is always good
2. No one ever gets homesick
3. There are close to 1000 students, and yet all we only ever see about ten teachers
4. No one every moves out because of a bad roomie situation
5. No one complains about the uniform
6. Only Hermione ever worries about grades
7. Who cleans the bathrooms?
8. The students never do laundry
9. The dorms never get nasty
10. Parents never come visit

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shostakovich and Cherubino

Yesterday was a recital from violist Maggie Snyder and bass Dennis Bender, all Shostakovich! The pieces performed were his Sonata for Viola and Piano, Opus 147 (his last work) and his Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarotti, Opus 145. Both were wonderful pieces, and the Michelangelo piece was especially dramatic. His music is definitely interesting, and it always keeps you on your feet. Although I'm not that acquainted with his music, it's something that I'd like to hear more of.

Mr. Bender gave a Master Class today, and this time I did get to sing. I sang Cherubino's Act I aria ("Non so piu") from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. It's still a fairly new piece to me as far as singing it, but I've been familiar with it for years. Most of what Mr. Bender worked on, not only with me but with everyone that sang, was diction. Now, this aria is fast and there are a lot of words to get out, and there were some that I wasn't quite getting out. "Mi si turba mi s'altera il petto" is one tough phrase to get out, let me tell you. We talked about Cherubino and what he's doing in that moment of the opera, how he's been chasing Susanna around the room trying to get his song back from her, that he's out of breath and excited. So, to get me into that mood, he had me run around the Chapel and back onto the stage, gave me a chord, and then I sang. And it felt good. It made me more in character, which Mr. Bedner pointed out. We also worked on the top G during the phrase "porta non via con se." and the diction on that phrase. And that too felt good.

The Master Class (and Donna's little speech in Italian Diction) really reinforced the importance of diction in singing. As Mr. Bender said, diction is part of the technique. Of course, we've all heard singer, even the pros, who have terrible diction (Pavarotti's English, anyone?), but it really is an essential thing. Nicolai Gedda sounded like a native speaker no matter what language he was singing in. The importance of diction isn't a sudden revelation to me, but it has been very much reinforced.

Only two days left of class until Thanksgiving break! We're all more than ready for a break, and I have a feeling that these last few days are going to go by very slowly. Oh well, let's just hope that next week is a long one.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Great Interlochen Blackout of 2006

I woke up Saturday morning to find that the power had gone out. Yes, no power on the entire campus. There had been quite a bit of snow the night before, but I don't know if that was the cause for the power outage. Still, it got rather cold in the room, although it wasn't much colder than usual. That either means that the insulation in here is really good or we just have a really bad heating system. Guess which one is probably true? I was about ready to go down to the front desk and get some newspapers to line my clothes with.

Anyways, we had no classes all day, which didn't bother me one bit, except that there was absolutly nothing to do. There's never much to do for entertainment around here anyways, but with no power, it was really dull. Of course, DeRoy (aka The Nice Dorm) had power because of a generator, but lowly people in the other dorms had to stick it out until noon-ish, when the power finally came back on. Thank goodness. We could at least have hot food for dinner.

Saturday night I saw The Crucible done by the Academy Theatre, which was wonderful! Concerto Finals were great. Had a Master Class with a Juilliard/Manhatten/Curtis teacher today, but I didn't sing. My voice, nor my nerves, were not in the greatest shape this morning, so singing that early would not have gone well. I also had my From the Top audition today, and I think it went well. The producer remembered me, and I think I sang well. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ups and downs and the King's Singers

The last few days were full of ups and downs, mostly ups and one big down. The down was that I did not make it to the Concerto Competition Finals. Even though I had not expected to move on, it was still a huge dissappointment. I think that squirrel really did wreck my performance...

But...the ups! Saw the King's Singers last night, and it was awesome!! The choir had a Master Class with them on Monday, which was really interesting, but to see them perform was amazing! The sound that they make is just beyond explanation. Their repertoire was huge; Spainish motets from the Renaissance, new American music in Japanese, The Beatles, and Folk Songs. Afterwords, I got all six of them to sign my program, which will be going home with me in a few days and kept safely there. All of us were on a "King's Singers" high for the remainder of the night and for some of today, and I think we're all obsessed. It's really an amazing thing that they do, and maybe I'll get to see them again someday.

Need to finish writing my Tolstoy essay since it's due tomorrow, and then we begin Dostoevsky on Friday! Lost on at 9!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Weekends at Interlochen

Let me begin by saying that a daily update is not something that will happen very often, but seeing as I don't have much to do at the moment, I thought I'd post something. Besides, I changed the settings so that anyone can post a comment, and I believe that doesn't go into effect until another posting is put up. There you go.

I got off of campus for the first time since Parents' Weekend; it didn't seem that long. I went to church this morning with Sarah, Morgen, and Kwambe. I was talking to the pastor's wife, and it turns out that she is from, of all places, Bluffton, Indiana! And on top of that, she's a high school friend of Seth's! It's a small world, isn't it?

After chruch I returend to good old TJ Dorm, had some nasty lunch, made a phone call home, took a brief walk, and talked to Austin for a while. We listented to some music, and I managed to turn him into a Dmitri Hvorostovsky convert. I borrowed his book Great Singers on Great Singing by Jerome Hines, a very famous singer himself. It's exactly what the title suggests it is, and it is fasinating. Laundry after that. In other words, not much going on. But I've got a Master Class with the King's Singers tomorrow, which I'm excited for. Also a group project on Tolstoy's Hadji Murad, and I've got to work on my Tolstoy essay for Thursday, plus read a little more of The Brothers Karamazov.

Let's hope the heat comes on in my room sometime soon. It's cold!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sitting here at my laptop

Ah, I have finally given in to the "real" blogosphere. My old MSN Spaces just didn't seem to quite make the cut, so, after viewing other blogs, I finally decided to go for it. Of course, who actually knows if I'll keep up with it, since I'm very busy most of the time with classes, practice, homework...

So, who am I? Well, I'm a voice student at Interlochen for a year, which is the main purpose of this blog; to create something of a record of what goes on in my life during this year. So far, it's been quite interresting. Between homesickness, residence issues, nasty food, a smelly dorm, snow in October, college applications, piles of music to learn, and laundry, it's been a great experience. I've learned so much already, and it has only been what seems like a few weeks, but here November is! Thanksgiving break is in two weeks, and I cannot wait to come home! Even though I am glad that I came here, I think a break will be the greatest thing for me. It will be nice to get away from the daily grind and finally be able to relax.