Recorded this Wednesday night after the election. I hope you will forgive the wobbles and pauses. I hope the listening brings as much or more comfort as the singing.
Following closely on the heals of our lovely summer concert at the Crystal Springs United Methodist Church last Sunday we will be performing at the California Historical Radio Society's annual Radio Day by the Bay in Kofman Auditorium on the island of Alameda. Here is the link to the details : http://www.californiahistoricalradio.com/radio-day-bay-2016-live-alameda/ We will be performing in the morning before the presentation of the Maltese Falcon. Will update with further details as I get them. Hope to see you there!
Nice work for sure! I performed this past Sunday June 26th with the Golden Gate Radio Orchestra for the first time and it was a blast! Such a fun and warm audience and the band is fantastic! Couldn't ask for a better or nicer bunch of musicians. I can't wait for our next performance and luckily that wait won't be long. We go on stage again July 23rd in Alameda at the California Historical Radio Society's annual event. More details on that in the days to come! In the meantime please enjoy this little sample that my sister grabbed with her phone and I edited a little on my computer.
For those that follow me on Instagram you already know I've begun singing with a community big band called Golden Gate Radio Orchestra. I've been having a blast! It's a great group of people, an amazing library, and just plain fun! We have a performance right around the corner in San Mateo. Here are the details and one of my personal practice videos as a little teaser:
GOLDEN GATE RADIO ORCHESTRA
Invites you to join us for our Summer Concert
The Music that Moved America XVIII
The concert begins at 3PM, Sunday, June 26 at Crystal Springs United
Methodist Church, 2145 Bunker Hill Dr., San Mateo
Tickets are $15 and can be ordered from:
316 Cortland Dr.
San Bruno, CA 94066
Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your order
and include your telephone number to ensure correct order processing.
Additional information can be obtained by calling 650 871-SING(7464).
Please feel free to share this invitation with any of your music loving friends and acquaintances.
Looking forward to seeing one and all June 26 to celebrate our
So I've been very distracted for the last two years with this high school choir job. In some ways it was great but in some really important ways it wasn't and so that is why in a week or two the job is ending and my focus will be here on my business again. I'm hoping to strengthen my studio numbers and retention (numbers have been ok but retention has been poor) and I'm hoping to make more connections and get some creative projects rolling and really dive into polishing up my chops and diving into auditioning on a regular basis.
So lets do this and have a fabulous theater and music filled summer!
Had a little trouble with the audio files...hopefully they are working now. Shoot me a message or leave a comment if they won't work for you. <3 H
When I was a baby singer* taking lessons with my first teacher she would have me do two exercises at the start of every lesson with out fail or exception for the many years I studied with her. I do them with my students now so if you are one of them you know what I'm referring to: the Long S and the Short S.
When I was a baby singer* I was (ok still kind of am) very insecure about my volume: how loudly I could sing. I had a very light high voice which while agile was not large or what might be considered powerful.
I am now an adult singer and my perspective on these two things has changed and I am now aware how intertwined these two things are.
I think where ever you are as a singer your perceived value is, as many things are, directly related to how common the quality of your voice is in your population. Just as the value and desirability of a gem increases as it's availability decreases so the same goes for different voice types. I think now that perhaps the darker, heavier and therefore more mature sounding voices may have been more valuable when I was in high school because amongst high school girls (and to some degree boys) they are rather rare. Mine had qualities certainly that other's didn't, like the agility and control and even to some degree height, though that was probably more because I wasn't afraid of the high notes, but it had a quality which I didn't realize the value of because it wasn't what everyone else was going on about- pianissimo.
I participated in a competition in High School for which I won runner up, I later found out the judge wanted me as co-winner but I lost out because of some back room shenanigans, and I received an adjudication form with the judges marks and comments. At the bottom he wrote that I had "a lovely pianissimo"**. I was so convinced of my quietness as a liability that I received that feedback as a back-handed compliment or "damning with faint praise". In typical petulant teenage fashion I probably thought something like "Well he had to say something nice so he picked that since there wasn't anything else good to say." It didn't occur to me, because of what I was seeing and hearing around me, that this was actually a rather difficult and rare and potentially valuable thing.
Likewise I failed to see the full value of the breathing exercises. They were calming and centering at the start of a lesson and told my body that we were getting ready to sing. They were challenging and I thought that their only value was in allowing me to sing longer phrases. I failed to grasp the breath control that it taught me. Because I practiced this one thing for years I now know that I possess breath control that is not necessarily common and allows me a remarkable range of dynamics when I sing, especially now that my voice has matured and I have some depth and darkness and some fortissimo!
I still get insecure about being soft and light but I now understand that it is an asset to be used and explored and exploited to make my music more beautiful and expressive. To this end I have been trying to embrace the pianissimo and explore it's potential. It is not only the extremely loud which can be jarring and attention grabbing. The extremely soft can be so too. We live in a noisy world. Cars, planes, power lines, refrigerators, computers, busses, trains, heaters and air conditioners, fluorescent lights, people, dogs, cats, birds music, musak, the multitude of voices online all contribute to a constant cacophony competing for our attention. Our society values and devises ways to be ever louder. Even in the woods, even out in nature, everything from the trees to the bugs make noise. How amazing and rare is quiet, is softness. How attention grabbing is something that whispers so that you wonder what your hearing and listen more closely and carefully.
Here are 3 recordings from the last 24 hours where I am exploring dynamics and my control of these dynamics. These are not by any means polished so forgive the mistakes and take them as glimpses into the journey of an artist. Like preliminary sketches before diving into a big painting. I guess in someways I will always be a baby singer. But at least I have the benefit of many years of experience and perspective. Also Baker Baker and I'm Going to Go Back There were recorded on my iPhone with it's crappy microphone so I sound a little like I'm underwater but I didn't happen to have my good mic with me like Healing Incantation.
*baby singer= beginning. I didn't start taking voice lessons until I was 14 going on 15. I wasn't literally a baby.
**paraphrased from faulty memory. I no longer have the sheet to verify exact wording.
Having some fun with my friend Hugo Pierre Martin and poking some fun at Petrarch at the same time. My kitty Po, ever the diva, makes a cameo. This will be entered into this new little film festival -http://filmingshakespeare.com so we'll have to see if it gets picked up.
In the meantime please enjoy!
I've been having some computer problems and my organization has gotten a little bit away from me of late and I've used up some of my master copies of things unintentionally.
So here are the files if you ever need them.
What a time of year. I have a number of students who just graduated high school and I'm so very proud of each and every one of them. A few of them I had the immense priveledge of mentoring on their senior projects. Just a little shout out here for your hard work and perseverence. The best of love and luck in all your future endeavors, dreams and goals.
Bravi Tutti on a job well done!