not too little to sing

So many concerts that I sang in during college ended with these words: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.”  I never sang those words without really thinking about them.  The end of each concert was like a recommitment to the next.  Unfortunately, the end of college was the (temporary) end of serious music-making for me!  Over the last 3 years, I have sung the least that I’ve ever sung.  Even when I was 4, I was somehow memorizing and singing music!  My family caught me on video at my Grandparents’ 40th reunion.  My Great Aunt is picking on me…

“I’m not too little, I’m four!”
“Are you one?”
“I’m not one!”
“Two?”
“I’m not two!”
“Three?”
“I’m not three…I’m four!”
“Aren’t you too little to sing?”
[totally disgusted face] “I’m not too little to sing!”

(See if you can spot my dad, mom, bro, and sis in this video… it’s classic!)

Well, the good news is that I’m back to singing, and this time, it’s the most I’ve ever sung in my life!  Since the majority of my time each week is spent in choirs, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about each of them.  And at the end, you’ll find a list of upcoming concerts…just in case you’re ever in New Haven!

Repertory Chorus
(2 hours/wk)
This choir is the most important one during my first year here!  It is essentially the lab choir for the four first-year conductors.  We are completely in charge of auditioning, choosing our singers, picking repertoire, running rehearsals, managing logistics, and leading performances!  It is comprised of around 25 singers, and because Yale has so much money, we’re able to pay most of them.

Recital Chorus
(2 hours/wk)
These choruses are for the four second-year conducting students.  Each one gets to put together a recital chorus, and the first-year conductors have the pleasure of singing in all of them.  For example, this month, we are singing in Sara’s recital chorus.  After her performance (in about a month), we’ll be working on Miles’ recital.  There are generally about 25 singers in a recital chorus.  Most are paid, but not the first-year conductors!

Camerata
(2.5 hours/wk)
This ensemble is comprised of graduate students, some undergrads, and community members.  It is primarily conducted by Maggie Brooks (one of our conducting teachers).  There are around 100 singers (no one is paid), and we do a lot of large works.  All 8 conducting students (first and second-years) must prepare the music Camerata is working on, as we will have a few opportunities to lead rehearsals.

Pro Musica
(1 hour/wk)
Pro Musica is the chamber ensemble of Camerata.  There are around 30 singers in this group, and we rehearse right before Camerata each week.  Again, this group is led by Maggie.

Schola Cantorum
(5 hours/wk)
Schola is the top ensemble at Yale.  It is a 24-voice ensemble; 8 of the singers (the Voxtet) are in a special early vocal music program at Yale.  The rest of us get paid very well.  We have a variety of conductors throughout the year, including Simon Carrington, Masaaki Suzuki, Andrew McGill, David Hill, Stefan Parkman, and Christopher Robinson.  We do a variety of music – mostly Renaissance/Baroque (tons of Bach, obviously) or new music.

Battell Chapel Choir
(5 hours/wk)
This is the choir for Battell Chapel – Yale’s ecumenical campus church.  It is conducted by one of the second-year conductors and comprised of a mix of undergrad and graduate students.  We are paid (especially section leaders!) and have a Thursday evening commitment for rehearsal as well as Sunday morning.

Add it all up and you get 17.5 hours a week of singing!  Not to mention we have some sort of concert or dress rehearsal or retreat almost every week.  Whoa.  I suppose this will make up for all the singing I missed over the last few years!  So, as for upcoming concerts, there’s a long list below.  Feel free to come!  We have tons of space to host people at my house, and we love having guests!

September 23, 2011 Beethoven 9
Shinik Hahm, guest conductor
With Yale Glee Club and Yale Philharmonia
8PM • Woolsey Hall

October 9, 2011 Hymn Festival
Led by John Ferguson and Bishop William Willimon
5PM • Woolsey Hall

October 15, 2011
Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Schola Cantorum
8PM • Old West United Methodist Church, 131 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114
and October 16, 2011

8PM • St. Mary’s Church (5 Hillhouse Ave.)

November 11, 2011 Handel: Solomon
Simon Carrington, guest conductor
Schola Cantorum
8PM • St. Mary’s Church (5 Hillhouse Ave.)

November 13, 2011 Camerata Chamber Chorus Run Out
Woodland Concert Series
4PM • Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland St. Hartford, CT

November 14, 2011
First-year Conductors!
Repertory Chorus
5PM • Battell Chapel

December 3, 2011 Advent Concert
Music of Bach, Telemann, Kyr, Willcocks, and more
Camerata
8PM • Battell Chapel

December 9, 2011 Anniversaries & Messages
Music of Lang, Liszt, Theofanidis, and Victoria
Simon Carrington, guest conductor
Schola Cantorum
5PM • Christ Church Episcopal (84 Broadway)

January 21, 2012 Lux aeterna: Music of Victoria and Howells
Schola Cantorum
David Hill, guest conductor
8PM • Christ Church Episcopal (84 Broadway)

January 29, 2012 Camerata Run Out
Fountain Music Series
4PM • First Congregational Church, 103 Main St. Ridgefield, CT

February 26, 2012 Stefan Parkman Conducts
Stefan Parkman, guest conductor
Music of Bach, Bossi, Brahms, Mäntyjärvi, and Sandström
with Yale Schola Cantorum, Camerata and Yale Glee Club
4PM • Woolsey Hall

April 1, 2012 Music for Palm Sunday
Camerata Chamber Chorus
Passio by Arvo Pärt
4PM • Christ Church Episcopal

April 16, 2012
First-year conductors!
Repertory Chorus
5PM • Battell Chapel

April 22 , 2012 Handel: Messiah
Camerata
3PM • Woolsey Hall

April 29, 2012 Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation)                                        Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Schola Cantorum
With Juilliard415
5PM • Woolsey Hall
and April 30, 2012

7:30PM • Saint Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue (at 51st St.) New York, NY

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3 thoughts on “not too little to sing

  1. OMG, you’ll have to tell me what you think of Haydn’s Creation….We sang it at Radford, and I’ve got to say, it was the most miserable choral experience of my life. I hope it’s much better for you. I think I tried to sell at least 2 copies of it in my garage sale, to no avail….so if you need a copy, let me know.

  2. Loved the video (and, yes, I spotted Erin, Jeff, your Mom and your Dad)!! Sounds like you will be doing a lot of singing (and, hopefully, enjoying every minute of it!!). I would love to make it up to Yale to see a concert — maybe, we can make a little family trip out of it before the winter snow falls.

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