Monday, August 3, 2009

Stringing together a living in Music

Not sure how August has crept up so fast, but now that it is here, it is time to start the prep work for the season ahead.

In many ways, my year ahead is a bit lighter, I switch from interim director of Richard Eaton Singers back to my role of Associate Conductor. Mostly, I'll be singing with my friends in the 1st tenor section, running a few sectionals, and occasionally a full rehearsal in Len's absence. But otherwise, it's back to being a chorister, something I didn't do much of last year, so I am looking forward to it!

Da Camera has a busy schedule this year to make up for that. We have our regular three concert season, as well as a guest appearance with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble in December, and then two mini trips within the prairies. One to Calgary, and the other as a participating choir at Podium 2010 in Saskatoon. Both the Calgary and Saskatoon trips will be with Spiritus Chamber Choir from Calgary, and both choirs are looking forward to that a great deal!

Unfortunately, do to a variety of circumstances, mostly returning staff members from sabbaticals and other administrative leaves, there is no teaching for me at the University of Alberta this year. This is sad for me, as I've been hired as a contract teacher now for eleven years in a row. I just hope that I'll be able to work my way back in again next year. It is always a challenge to get contract teaching work - and very unpredictable. I was however offered two courses to teach at Concordia University College School of Music - so it does fill that void.

I also still have my most wonderful church position at Holy Trinity Anglican Church - which in many ways is my most stable and important job I have.

This year, in collaboration with an excellent soprano friend, we are combining forces to begin what we hope will be a long standing professional organization designed to bring in world class local and choristers to produce and perform selected choral projects. The projects will range from early music ensembles of one to a part, to larger scale choral projects with chamber orchestra. In this the pilot year of the project, we are planning two concerts, one of relatively under performed English renaissance composers, Like William Mundy, and newer compositions, and the other an all Sch├╝tz program, with up to sixteen singers and a theorbist from the Early Music Institute of the University of Indiana. I'm very excited to get this ball rolling, as there is currently a void in our choral market on this type of specialized ensemble. More on this project in a later post.

So, I'll enjoy a bit more golf in the last month of summer, but the spare time will be devoted to preparing course outlines, rehearsal schedules, finalizing repertoire, and securing musicians for both Da Camera, and the soon to be named project ensembles.

Hope your final month of summer and preparation goes well, and you are rested and invigorated to begin the fall season with a fresh outlook!

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