Friday, October 28, 2011

Spring is bringing more of the work I love.

With the change in the weather, and the oncoming end of year, it is time to be putting things in place for 2012. I have sent feelers out to rural radio stations, and rural education access branches here in New Zealand, and in Australia, for teaching singing to individuals, families, and groups via skype. I have one 'client' where the son has a 10 minute session, the daughter has a 10 minute session and Mum has a 40 minute lesson. They live on a farm, an hour's drive away form their nearest good-sized city. I have a student in Melbourne. He has his lesson at 10a.m. and for me it is midday.

I enrolled a new face-t0-face student this week, a lovely voice, very musical it is going to be such fun working with him. In addition I started the vocal techniques workshop series last night at Waikato University and it was over subscribed, (just by 1), so good for all the participants, as well as financially for me. What a blast! The workshop went very well, so much laughter, so many finding out that those who said they could not sing were wrong!! The workshop was due to finish 8.30, I sent them home at 8.40 and spent the next 15 minutes answering questions. Given that as soon as people sing they feel good, the euphoria was not just because of my teaching and empowering, I know that :-) Nevertheless extremely satisfying!!

Seven of the Hilda Ross Glee Club have expressed a desire to sing in the 8 - 80 concert, and the whole of the Vision Forest Lake Senior singers have done likewise. I have my 80 choir. Two days of auditions at Rotokauri Scholo resulted in 18 singers being selected, but at present it is almost all the young ones; 16 of them are aged 9 or younger, and the school has children up to the age of 12. I am back for a final audition time next Monday, then it will be preparation of music and CDs for them all to work on learning the music. I will be taking singing sessions with the children four or five times before the end of the year, working on vocal technique as well as learning the songs.

It is time to get back onto the retirement village companies about choirs for 2012. Watch this space.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Resolution to the problem

Having prayed about it, I let God guide my mind and actions, and felt at peace completely during last Thursday's regular rehearsal time with the Hilda Ross Glee Club

Because some of the singers arrive late, for many reason I though it unwise to discuss at the beginning, and so we sang for about 15 minutes, which by the very nature of singing put every one in a positive place.

I then told them that I accepted their decision, but the consequence was that the Hilda Ross Glee Club would not be the '80' choir. However any of those in the Glee Club who wanted could join the choir that I would be putting together to sing the songs. The general response was that they thought that might be the case, so it was not unexpected.

However the next part of the discussion went far better than I thought it would. The question was "does that mean the end of Glee Club?" and the response was that everyone wanted to continue. Furthermore the Festival choir will rehearse outside of Glee Club time, so it is business as usual, and I left with three songs that they have selected to add to their repertoire.

On Friday (the next day) I saw the Vision Forest Lake Singers and told them that they would be invited to join the '80' choir, and I may well have enough singers from these two village choirs to make up the festival choir. I am praising God for good resolution to what was a very vexing situation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12th

The choir has received my letter, and the feedback is that their decision has not changed. I am looking for the wisdom of Solomon on this one.
Options, as I see it:
  1. Find a new theme for the concert and risk them rejecting that repertoire as well, now that they have been empowered to.
  2. Give all future selection of repertoire over to Glee Club, to source for themselves.
  3. Invite those who will sing the repertoire to join singers from the other two choirs with whom I work, to form the 80 choir (of the 8 - 80 ensemble)
  4. Pass on the whole task to one of the other choirs.
The contract is to be signed today for the concert, and it is 4 1/2 months away, so there is time to do any of the above.

I audition the children of the '8' choir during the first week back on the Tuesday and Wednesday, and have the first rehearsal with them on the Friday of that week.

On a much brighter note, I have completed four of the compositions that I plan to write, and they are in the hands of the Hamilton Chorale to be sung at the concerts the weekend of Nov 12/13. They are reasonably simple songs, written for people aged 70 plus to be able to sing in parts. I will get feedback from the Chorale on how they enjoy (or don't) singing them, and send that along with the final editing of the compositions.

Lots going on: a singing student via skype in Melbourne has just joined my studio, and I am running singing workshops for 8 weeks for Waikato University Continuing Education also during the fourth term.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3rd, watch this space!

So much changes and so much stays the same.
I have lost a number of singing students, all for valid reasons, the latest because he got into the rowing team, which practices every afternoon, so no time to practice or for lessons, others for family reasons, and so on.
However in the last two days I have had four potential students contact me so that is very encouraging.

I have a choir in revolt, which I have never experienced before, so am needing the wisdom of Solomon to resolve this situation. The 8 - 80 choir has been accepted for the programme of the Hamilton Gardens Summer Arts Festival 2o13, with a theme of 'Our Music'. My thoughts, as concert planner, was to use some of the best Music Hall songs for the Glee Club, and songs from Kiwi Kids Songs for the children, and songs in an as yet undecided style for their combined songs. I gave a copy of the index of the Music Hall Songs to the Glee Club, and they have decided that they are old songs, and they do not want to sing old songs. No doubt many conversations occurred, and I have even had a long letter, nicely written about how much I am appreciated, but how much they do NOT want to sing these songs. This was before they even got to look at the selection.

I have decided to write an open letter in response to them. I missed last week's rehearsal, where no doubt more discussion occurred, and will miss this week's as well with out-of-town responsibilties. A good chat with my business manager this morning helped me clarify what I need to say to them, and possible ways forward. I will let you know what happens. :-)