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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Music that Transports

Singing brings me joy. It also challenges me mentally. Providence Singers rehearsal every Tuesday night is my happy place. No matter how tired or demoralized I am when I enter rehearsal I am invariably renewed in spirit by the end of the night. (Granted there are some rehearsals that are frustrating because I'm not getting the notes or rhythms, but those are the nights that stretch me and push me outside my comfort zone).

Providence Singers rehearsal

I also love to listen to choral music, especially when it's sung by a talented group of singers in a gorgeous, resonant space. I had the chance to do just that this past Sunday at the debut concert of a new Rhode Island group called Collegium Ancora. This group of 18 singers, most professional musicians by training, if not in their everyday careers. I sing with two of the groups members in Providence Singers and was excited to hear them perform. Collegium Ancora did not disappoint. They were fantastic as was the venue, Grace Episcopal Church in down city Providence. Two of the pieces they performed were sublime. I found myself just soaking in the music and feeling that there must indeed be a God if something this moving and beautiful exists. Sounds a bit sappy, but that's what I felt. One of these pieces was "A New Song" by James MacMillian (b.1959). You should listen to it -- really.

I am also lucky enough to have a husband, friend and partner who also loves music and was as excited about this piece as I was.

The other piece that I found particularly moving was their encore offering: Pearsall's Lay a Garland. Fantastic a cappella sound with so many wonderful, complex layers. Just gorgeous.

The rest of the program was great too. Here's what they sang.

I can't wait to hear them sing again. Mark you calendars, February 12, 5pm. They'll be presenting "A Little Night Music" featuring Vaughan William's Serenade as well as works by Brahms, Barber and Sondheim.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Just Another Fall Saturday

So this morning I decided to head out to treat myself and my Pug dog Chloe to a walk outside in the gorgeous Fall weather we've been having. I decided not to listen to my audiobook or to music and instead to just soak up the sounds and experiences of nature. All was going wonderfully as Chloe and I walked along a trail in the woods. There was no one around so I'd let Chloe off of the leash. I even took the time to snap a couple of photos. I was reveling in the moment .... and then noticed Chloe was behind me and fascinated with something. Then she started rolling around on the ground and wouldn't come when I called her. She rolled some more and I walked back to get her. Well, she had decided it was a lovely morning to cover herself in poop. Stinky, yucky, fresh poop! The last half of our walk was less pleasant and more fragrant. I managed to get it on my hands while putting her leash back on and tried to wipe it off with leaves (not very effective). We arrived home and hosed off a bit outside and then it was time for a doggie bath and a Mommy shower. In the end I had a great time giving her a bath as she was so funny about the whole thing! So, bad thing turned good. And now back to our regularly scheduled day of doing not much of anything.