Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lydia's going to college!

I'm going to college! After many days of not getting the mail for fear of getting rejection letters from colleges, I finally got the letter I was looking for. "You have been recommended for admission to the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music." IU has long been my top choice for college, so getting in was very exciting for me. I guess my audition went better than I thought it did. So, next year I will be attending IU, majoring in Vocal Performance. I'm beyond excited! I'll be the fourth generation of Dahlings to go to IU; I think the first time I was on campus I was two years old or close to that. IU's always been part of the family legacy, and I find it difficult to remember a time when I hadn't heard of the University. I'm just so ecstatic that I've been accepted to IU!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mozart, recital juries,learning Britten, falling down...all in a week's work

The last two weeks have been some of the busiest this year. Choir had our sacred music concert last Friday, which consisted of Mozart's Solemn Vespers, a Swedish piece called Saul (we didn't sing it in Swedish, thank goodness), and three hymn tunes with organ. The Mozart piece was done with a small chamber orchestra. Like most sacred masses and oratorios, there were solo parts, in this case a quartet in most movements and the famous soprano solo "Laudate Dominum", which is nothing but beautiful. I sang the alto solo in the "Confitebur" movement. It was the first time that I had sung solo with orchestra, and I was a bit nervous, but it turned out very well in the end, and I was more than pleased with the outcome of the concert. I'll admit, it was nothing less of exciting to sing with an orchestra. And to be singing Mozart with orchestra...amazing!

Rehearsals for Opera Workshop have begun; this semester's program has more, shorter pieces than before. I'm doing English opera again, this time the lake scene from Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw. I'm singing the role of Miss Jessel, the former governess (former because she's dead) to Miles and Flora, who, with the former manservant (also dead) Peter Quint, are trying to corrupt the children, and the new Governess is trying to prevent it, all the while not sure if it is actually happening, or if it is something of her imagination. Actually, it's one of the creepiest things I've ever come across, but it's wonderful music, and I'm very excited!

The jury for my senior recital was yesterday, and I got it! I had been nervous, mostly because my health seemed to be finally letting down its guard. It started on Saturday when I fell twice on the ice on the way to my first class, causing my head and legs to hurt and to leave me covered in water and a few bruises. Lovely. But after that it seemed that my throat was rather dry. Of course the two had nothing in common, only that they happened around the same time. So, after a trip to health services, I was told that my throat was a little red and that my tonsils were slightly swollen. I took some medication, gargled warm salt water, had some Cold Eeze, and went to bed very early. I had also felt very tired for the whole week, which I think was due more to stress and exhaustion than anything. Good think Spring Break is coming up, and I can sleep...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Auditions

Last weekend I found myself in Bloomington for my Indiana University Jacobs School of Music audition. As far as auditions go, this was the one I was looking the most forward to, and also the one that caused me the most nerves.

My parents picked me up from Interlochen Wednesday after classes, and, after a long car ride, I arrived at home. I spent the night at home and after sleeping in on Thursday, my mom and I drove down to Bloomington, a very short drive compared to the drive to Interlochen. We stayed at a very sketchy Eccano Lodge that looked like it should be in "CSI: Bloomington" or "Law and Order: University Inspectors Unit". But it was fine. After wandering around Bloomington for a while, we returned to the hotel and got a good night's sleep.

Friday morning, we arrived at the Musical Arts Center (MAC) a little after 8 in the morning to see what my schedule was for the day. I had a music theory placement test in the morning, which wasn't a big deal. My audition, however, was a big deal (big duh there, let's point out the obvious). The audition was at 5:00 (4:58 if you want to be exact), and after warming up, I arrived at the room, and since I was early, I was able to sing about half an hour before I was supposed to.

This was by far the most nerve-wracking audition. My knees shook the entire time. Walking into that room, and finally doing something that I've been looking forward to for five or so years, was truly scary, but at the same time exciting. I only sang half of my Elgar piece, since it's so long, and after a shaky start, I managed to get control of it. I think the accompanist could sense my freaking-out when I was showing him the cut for the Elgar. "It's OK," or something like that. The high A at the end was good, in my opinion, which made me happy. I also sang my Bellini piece, which also went well, at least I hope so. I couldn't really tell what kind of reaction the faculty had, which didn't help the nerve factor. I've most definitely sung better, but I didn't crash and burn. I'm just dying to know how I did; I'll be in a perpetual state of freak out until I find out.

Friday night, my mom and I went to see Richard Strauss's Arabella at the IU Opera Theatre. It is a beautiful opera, and the performance was lovely. The singers were wonderful, and the production was beautiful; the sets and costumes were breathtaking. During intermission, I talked with an usher that had been a councilor at the DePauw Vocal Arts Camp two summers ago when I went. She graduated from DePauw and now studies at IU, and I was able to get her opinion on both schools.

We returned home Saturday afternoon, after having lunch with Laura and Nicole; it is always good to see familiar faces. We had snow and Simon Boccanegra on the drive home. Thomas Hampson is amazing.

So how do I feel about my IU audition? I don't know. I still can't tell how I did. I don't know how I stacked up compared to the other voice students that auditioned, or how tough it was to actually get from the screening round to the audition. There were parts of the audition I was glad about, like the high A that caused all of the faculty listening to look up, but there were other parts that were not so good, like having the accompanist step on the gas in the Elgar, even though I got back on track, and it seemed to turn out fine, but who knows? Of course I wish I could have a second chance, just to prove I can sing better. If I could know how I did, I think I would feel a lot better about the whole thing. So now I wait for the acceptance or rejection letter. The nerves are on end. Let's just say there's been a lot of praying going on...