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A Week At The Sea (Symphony)

August 4, 2008

I’m home! It was a great week! Here is an attempt at the highlights…

To start, the campus is beautiful. Surrounded by mountains, the campus has lots and lots of green space and hills, and has a brook running through it. We drove in on Sunday through a very bad storm…lots of thunder and heavy rain…the brook was running fast. People, to a one, were so friendly. There was a distinguished faculty, decent food (fresh veggies and LOTS of salad) and fun things to do during free time in the afternoons.

We rehearsed between five and six hours a day…morning and evening. The chorus, almost 200 of us, came in from 30 states, British Columbia, and Germany and ranged in age from late teens (there were a few) to (and I’m guessing here) about 90 years old. So, the group had years of experience. We were a wonderful chorus (if I do say so myself). I was really pleased, right away, at how responsive we were, as a group, to direction. Our conductor, John Alexander, from Orange County, California, has been directing choruses all his life and was dynamic and able to teach and communicate what he wanted from us. We worked hard and sang well.

It is a daunting task to take what is essentially a pick up chorus, and in five days produce a work as big as the Vaughn Williams Sea Symphony. Mr. Alexander confessed to us, as he addressed us right before Saturday’s concert, that he was wondering, on the previous Sunday, as he was flying in, how this was going to happen. I don’t think the Sea Symphony is performed as much as some other choral works, which if a poll was taken of the group most of us would have sung many times…so many of the chorus were singing this for the first time.

The concert, was performed in an open air venue. A shed, actually. Long, with a domed wood roof, and about 4 roll up metal garage doors on each side. It was so great to sing, essentially outside, on a summer night! We had a large audience for the performance.

Ok, so now the moment we’ve all been waiting for…drumroll please…The AUDITION (S) Yes, that is plural. The pain of one audition was not enough apparently. There are a few places in the Sea Symphony that call for a smaller chorus of about 30 voices. I decided to take the audition for the small chorus sections…and …I GOT IN!!!!! So I sang the semi-chorus sections, two of which were acappella. I even got a * after my name in the program! I took the Vespers audition on Wednesday afternoon. I think it went reasonably well. There were two faculty persons in the room, one was playing the piano, and one was scoring me. I think my pitch was pretty good. I had an attack of the nerves monster (you know, the one who steals your breath and chokes your throat) yeah, that one. I sang around it as best I could. I felt soooo much better after it was over! I hope I gave them what they are looking for. They heard at least 30 auditions this week in person, and more will send in CDs. They want a chorus of around 100. I will hear one way or the other in October. I’ll let you know…keep praying, because if they have not eliminated me already, and they have to choose between me and an other…..we all know who we want them to choose!

I’ll say more later…just wanted to get something posted first thing this morning!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. MOM permalink
    August 4, 2008 9:48 am

    WAY TO GO, LIZ!!!!!!!!

  2. Karen Cain permalink
    August 4, 2008 10:06 am

    I’ve been praying and hoping, big time. Congratulations on all your hard work. Glad you were appreciated with an *!! I wish I could have been there to hear the angelic voices. Also, glad you’re home safely. Love, Karen

  3. August 4, 2008 11:00 am

    Thanks, Mom! (a chief member of my cheering section!)

    Karen, Keep praying!
    The faculty member who auditioned us for the semi chorus parts had told us that since they were so close to the print date, that there would not be a * next to our names in the program. (I didn’t care one way or the other) He said that
    HE would be happy to put a * next to our name in our own personal copy of the program (haha).

  4. Whole_Body_Healer permalink
    August 4, 2008 12:35 pm

    CONGRATS on having such a wonderful break & getting in on your audition! Hope the one for October goes equally well!
    xoxo Michalene

  5. Martha permalink
    August 4, 2008 3:57 pm

    What glorius fun, aside from the auditions.
    A wonderful time to savor, to hear in your head. I missed when and where the next performance will be for those who pass the auditions.


  6. August 4, 2008 4:24 pm

    Hi Michalene! I’m so glad you dropped by! Thanks for your good wishes and enthusiasm. Keeping fingers crossed… 🙂

    Martha, I sooo owe you a call… do you have time to chat this week? We can make a plan to all get together…
    The Vespers concert is next summer during the last week of July.

  7. August 5, 2008 9:14 am

    Liz!!! You did so great, congrats and good luck on your journey! Al that singing has to be good for healing!

  8. August 5, 2008 12:38 pm

    Deb hiya sweetie! It is so much fun to do something that is my heart’s delight…I’ve been calling it extreme choral singing 🙂 I think you are right…it is good for healing. The text of the work is amazing too…I’m going to try to get a link to the poetry…meant a lot to me, especially now.

  9. angela permalink
    August 5, 2008 9:51 pm

    Yea Liz!!!! Way to go. : ) will they be making CD’s?

    Glad to hear things went so well but with your positive attitude it doesn’t surprise me.


  10. August 6, 2008 6:40 am

    Hi Angela! No, unhappily, no CDs. Birkshire has an archive recording only. Thanks for sharing in the excitement of this. it has been so great to have something really fun to do (for a change)!

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