Saturday, April 7, 2012

We are an Easter Peeple


...as depicted by my middle school group and assorted friends, for display at our church's Easter Breakfast tomorrow. Alleluia! :-D

P.S. I'm the pink one with the brown mullet and the baton sticking out of the side of my head.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A conductor's mojo...

...described variously here. Worth reading!

Ever wonder what all that arm-waving is about?

If so, this post from the New York Times and Alan Gilbert might be illuminating.

For me, the experience of conducting is simultaneously one of suspended animation, dance and deeply analytical, multi-layered thinking. At any given moment, I'm immersed in rhythm, pitch, motion, melody, harmony, textual interpretation, phrasing, articulation, vocal technique, conducting technique, classroom management, collaboration with singers and accompanist, learning styles, teaching styles, how to ask a question, how to phrase a directive, how to paint with my arms and hands, facial expression as teaching tool, where to inject a bit of humor and where to push harder.

It's deep engagement with people, a task, an experience, art.

It's about interpreting a composer's road map, fostering my singers' abilities and inspiring something fresh. It's about inviting and leading; offering and receiving; pointing and looking; diagnosing and demonstrating; understanding and explaining; wondering and deciding.

It's choreography, storytelling, question-asking and getting people to use their heads, hearts, instruments and pencils.

It's play, prayer, proclamation, lament, exultation...in short, a deeply internal yet total out-of-body experience. Sound mysterious? It's shared alchemy that can turn black dots on a page into an experience of the sublime.

I'll let Robin Williams close, with a line from Dead Poets Society:

We didn’t just read poetry, we let it drip from our tongues like honey. Spirits soared, women swooned, and gods were created, gentlemen. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?