For Unto Us....A Choir Director Is Born

Good morning!

Yes, it really is morning, already.  Wednesday mornings are always challenging to open my eyes when that first alarm clock bell goes off.  Tuesday nights I have rehearsal with the Northwest Choral Society.  In honesty, it is my favorite week night.  The Northwest Choral Society is a community chorus in the suburbs of Chicago (near O'Hare International Airport) made up of about 50+ singers from the Chicagoland area.  I am their conductor.

This is my third year working with this group of singers and, honestly, I am so proud to be their conductor.  The group hired me after their previous director passed away after a 30-year tenure.  Hiring me took a lot of faith and hope in me, but they did it with such goodwill.  In the past two years, I have seen remarkable growth in the group--musically and socially.  We finished our 2011-2012 season with the highest ticket sales and audience turn-out EVER.  This summer, about half of us attened the World Choir Games (sort of the Choir Olympics, if you will) in Cincinnati.  We just started rehearsals for our 2012-2013 season.

Last night's rehearsal was full of music and joy.  We are working on Handel's "Messiah" for our December concert.  I know, I know....EVERYONE does "Messiah.'  But not everyone does it well.  I love Handel's music.  I love "Messiah."  But above all else, I love teaching people this amazing music.  I try to inform the singers about stylistic implications of Baroque music, as well as arming them with the vocal technique to manage the seemingly never-ending melismas (singing many notes on one word/syllable).

So...I thought I would start a blog that I can share my thoughts, rehearsal techniques, insights, and even ask questions from my readers.  More than likely, since I rehearse only once a week with the NWCS, I will also publish my experience as a Middle School choir teacher.  Yes....Middle School.  The school year is also just underway....so wish me luck!

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