Tuesday, August 15, 2006

sight-singing

As I sat through my fourth rehearsal so far this week for my upcoming choral gig, a few thoughts ran through my head. First, singing choral music is good for my soul. There's something so fulfilling about communal music-making, and this is an exceptionally good group of choral singers, which makes it even more satisfying. Secondly, choral singing is good for my sight-singing skills! I'm a good sight reader. I make part of my living by teaching sight-singing. In fact, in most musical situations I've been in in my life, I'm one of the better sight readers in the room. My piano teacher in grad school always said that the best way to become a better reader is to play duets with someone who reads as well or slightly better than you, and I believe the same is true about singing. This group reads complicated music the first time through without (or with very little) help from the piano, with dynamics, phrasing, and all the other markings in the score. I'm keeping up, but it's definitely keeping me on my toes, which is really exciting. I'm finding that three-hour rehearsals fly by. It helps, as well, that we're singing great music. My favorite, so far, is Samuel Barber's Reincarnations, three gorgeous a cappella pieces on Irish poetry. Completely sumptuous!

Now, I have a couple days off from rehearsals to learn the opening scene from Dido and Aeneas and a scene from Poppea for the Baroque Opera workshop next week. Fun!

1 comment:

Philip L. Copeland said...

Melissa,

Found your blog today and enjoyed reading a little about you. Thanks for writing on choirs . . . I pointed my students to your blog and used a few of your words in this morning's post. Thanks again!

http://uabchoirs.blogspot.com/