Draw her home with Music

This is literally the first moment I’ve had to sit down in about four weeks.

I sang in an opera concert on the 22nd November in a lovely converted church in north Cork. It was a really pleasant evening and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. I was even given a gorgeous bunch on yellow roses afterwards! It was great! The run up to it was quite stressful, though. There were a lot of duets and the pianist came over from the Netherlands to accompany us, so we had to fit in rehearsals in with him. He was wonderful though! It’s a great feeling to sing with an excellent accompanist!

Once the concert was over I started rehearsing properly for an Audition I have coming up in the Royal Academy of Music, London on the 7th December. It’s for musical theatre, not opera, though. HA! It’s something different, anyway. A challenge! So I’ve been studying three songs on my own and two monologues with a teacher. So far it’s been a really positive experience. I didn’t get too many opportunities to act during my time at college. Apparently I have natural comic timing! Who’d have thought it 😛

Apart from that, I’ve been taken on in a Gaelscoil in Cork, teaching music to second years for the year. (A gaelscoil is a school where Irish is spoken all the time. Everything is taught through Irish.) So for example, today I was explaining was syncopation is in Irish to a group of 14 year olds. I’ve only been there a week but I’m enjoying it already. All of the students play at least one instrument and the can all sing. They all play the tin whistle too! So I’ve arranged about six Christmas carols on the tin whistle for them and organized some Christmas songs for them to sing too. (HARMONY!!) Obviously the problem here would be that I don’t speak fluent Irish. But do you think i’d let that stop me? BAH!

I’ve also been singing in churches a lot recently. Two funerals this week. Funerals are so sad. And I’m still teaching beginner piano two evenings a week. I should also mention the Feischmann choir concert next Thursday for which I have been attenting rehearsals. We’ll be singing Vaughan Williams’ Serenade (absolutely stunning) as well as Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and Zadok the Priest and some other fun bits and pieces. We’re singing with the Cork Symphony Orchestra and Julian Lloyd Webber is playing ELGAR’S CELLO CONCERTO!!

So, you see, I haven’t forgotten about blogging about singing! I’ve just been too busy actually SINGING to blog! Above picture depicts my crazy busy head.

Listen to Williams’ Serenade.


Turn Up The Musing

‘On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.”
Well it’s not quite the first day of Christmas, it is however the third day that I have woken up to a blanket of ice covering my car and freezing fog hanging eerily in the air. Imagine my delight when, on Friday morning, after waking up to find that my alarm had not gone off and I was late for work, I opened the door to a virtually opaque world. I had to feel my way to the car armed with jugs of water to melt the windscreen.
Now don’t get me wrong, I hate hazardous driving conditions as much as the next person. But there is something so reassuring about winter being, well, winterish. Especially living in Cork, the Wet and Warm Capital of Ireland, it’s nice to see some evidence of the change in seasons. Although I’m not crazy about waking up in the dark, working through the daylight hours and driving home to see a 4pm sunset.
Some people will blame global warming for this unusually bitter weather but I must say that it brings me back to my child hood. Many happy mornings were spent crunching across the frozen grass on my way to school bundled up in hats and scarves and anoraks. Good times. Personally I’m looking forward to the opportunity to don my favourite hats and scarves again. Nothing says “WINTER!” like disappearing under a sea of mittens and socks.
So come on people! Stop complaining! Stoke up that fire, pull out your comfiest blanket and snuggle down. If we’re lucky we might just get a white Christmas!
Turn to the Music:
To keep my smile warm I’m listening to “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical Hairspray.  Listen to it first thing in the morning to keep you happy for the rest of the day.