Singing Changes Your Brain: Another good reason to come to our concert in 2 weeks!

Hey all!

So, time is growing short before our next concert series!  (Exactly 2 weeks from TODAY!)  Gasp!  BUT that doesn't mean you can't still purchase tickets :)

I don't know about you all, but my e-mail inbox is about ready to explode.  In catching up on e-mails, I came across a reference for an article in TIME magazine titled, "Singing Changes Your Brain: Group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins"  (which I completely agree with). 

The article, which can be found here:
http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/ mentions the health benefits of singing and how it can lower levels of cortisol, which can lower stress levels.  Singing can also relieve anxiety and contribute to overall quality of life.  I, personally, will be singing until I'm not able to talk anymore.  I love the way that singing lets me forget about the troubles of the day and focus on nothing but the here and now.  Even listening to music can help with stress levels and improve brain function.

On that note, come and enjoy a night of wonderful music for our "Let Freedom Sing!" concert series on Friday or Saturday (or both!) May 19th or 20th at 7:30 pm.  Price of admission is for Adults $17 in advance from either a chorus member or if purchased online, and $20 if purchased at the door, children under 13 are only $5. 

Questions?  Just ask!

~EB, Lexington Pops Chorus Blog Maven Extraordinaire

A Concert Fast Approaches

Hello all!

I apologize for the delay in posting, but we've just been so busy with such fine music that it is hard to pull myself away sometimes.  

We've got quite the line up for our concert next week starting with the Requiem, by British composer John Rutter.  It was first performed as four movements in a Presbyterian church in Sacramento, California on March 14, 1985.  The complete performance (with all seven movements) wasn't performed until October 13, 1985 in a United Methodist church in Dallas, Texas.  Interestingly enough, John Rutter conducted both of these performances.  We will be joined by several instrumentalists throughout the singing of the Requiem.  Soprano Lili Kaufmann will be gracing us once again with her presence as a soloist for two of the seven movements.  Cherie Asgeirsson on flute, Beverly Chadwick on oboe, and Hyun-Ji Kwon on cello will also be joining the fun.  David Owens, who normally accompanies us on the piano, will be switching things up a bit performing the Requiem and a few Cesar Franck selections on the church's organ.  It's going to be magical!

We look forward to hearing a few more solos within pieces from sopranos Donna Cantera-Davis and Anne Noonan as well as baritone Jack DeFina throughout the evening. 

Come enjoy a night of wonderful music on Friday or Saturday (or both!) January 13th or 14th at 7:30 pm.  Price of admission is for adults $17 in advance from either a chorus member or if purchased online, and $20 if purchased at the door, children under 13 are only $5. 

Get 'em while they're hot!

Hope to see you all next weekend!

~ EB: Lexington Pops Blog Maven

Another Concert Season Must Come to an End

So, the post you have all been waiting for has finally arrived!

Mr. Robert Chilcott: aka Bob Chilcott
He is an accomplished British Composer, Conductor, and Singer.  He primarily sang with various groups while growing up in London, and since 1997 has turned to conducting.   The piece we sang as a choir, A Little Jazz Mass, was originally composed in 2004 and sung for the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans.  When we were first given this piece I was slightly befuddled that a Latin Mass was infused with this funky jazz beat.  After singing it through a few times, the two styles just seemed to fit more and more like a glove.  Smooth and yet expressive, but not forced.  There have been so many pieces that have been composed and feel like they were forced into one style or genre or another, where as A Little Jazz Mass just works.  Throw in the drum kit and string bass with the piano and we've got ourselves a party.  It might have been his involvement in all aspects of choirs that led him to create such a unique work.  Thanks, Bob, for a great addition to our concert!

Please head on over to Bob Chilcott's website for more information:
http://www.bobchilcott.com/

Overall, it was another marvelous and well-received concert season.  Multiple people whom I spoke with were very impressed by the repertoire chosen for the concert.   Sad that it's over, but happy that it ended on such a pleasing note :) (loved that encore song, The Storm is Passing Over - a real crowd-pleaser!)

Oh!  One more thing before I let you all go:  What are you doing Tuesday June 7th from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm?  Nothing you say?  WELL!  Nothing no more!  We've got a great night planned for you to join us!  We're holding a Broadway Workshop for people to learn some techniques from Jason Iannuzzi (the Director of Choruses at the Lexington High School) and to sing some Broadway tunes.  For more information, check out the "Broadway Workshop : 6/7/16" tab at the top or head on over to our main page for the flyer!!  Registration is easy and hassle-free (leave a comment below if you feel otherwise, we'll see what we can do to accommodate you).  Come join us!

Later days folks, and enjoy the warm weather!!

~ EB, AKA: The Lexington Pops Chorus Blog Maven ~

Spring Is in the Air!

Good afternoon everyone!  Hasn't the weather just been delightful?  :)

We at the Lexington Pops have been quite busy again this Spring with rehearsals and evenings full of song.

A Little Jazz Mass by Robert Chilcott, some Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway tunes, Showboat tunes, and one of my favorites, a little soul in the form of The Storm Is Passing Over by Charles Tindley, arranged by Barbara Baker (among several other songs!).

Stay "tuned" for a bio blurb on Mr. Robert Chilcott himself!

And don't forget, if you're in the Chorus, Potluck Pre-Rehearsal Party in just a few short weeks on the 22nd!

Have marvelous weeks all!

In The Beginning. . .a little tune by a man named Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland was born in 1900 in Brooklyn, NY into a Conservative Jewish household.  He had four older brothers and sisters.  His mother, Sarah, was where you could say he got his musical interest from.  She was a singer and piano player herself, and actually arranged music lessons for her children.  At the young age of 15, Copland decided he wanted to become a composer after he had attended a concert put on by a composer-pianist.  He began seriously taking formal music classes under the direction of Rubin Goldmark.  After finishing classes with Goldmark, he decided to head to France, where he stayed for four (unexpected) years.  He studied at the Fontainbleau School of Music under the direction of Isidor Philipp and Paul Vidal, but because Vidal was too similar to Goldmark, he switched teachers to work with Nadia Boulanger.  Copland was quoted as saying that, "No one to my knowledge had ever before thought of studying with a woman."  He liked her teaching style so much that instead of his anticipated one year abroad, he stayed with her for three years.  He ended up renting a studio apartment in the Upper West Side of NYC near Carnegie Hall when he returned to the United States. 

Over the following years, Aaron Copland created many noteworthy pieces and film scores for movies such as Of Mice and MenThe HeiressSomething Wild, and many others.  He was also a conductor for a time. 

One of the pieces or choral work we are singing this semester as a choir is In the Beginning written in 1947.  It uses the first chapter and the first seven verses of the second chapter of Genesis from the King James version of the Bible and is a masterpiece of the choral repertory. 

Singing and learning how to sing this piece has been a challenge, but a rewarding one.  Learning how to deal with the many dissonant sections of the piece have been the largest challenges for many of our members, myself included!

Here's to a wonderful holiday season and a successful next few weeks before our January concert!! 

 

 

In the Mood for Music

Hey all,

As we are approaching the beginning of our next (glorious) season, we can take some time to enjoy the little things - like the birds chirping or a soft breeze through the trees AND we can even enjoy the music of others while we're at it  :)

Chorus Pro Musica is putting on two summer sings on the evenings of Monday August 10 and Monday August 17th at the Old South Church in Boston (check out their website for more info: http://www.choruspromusica.org/news/summer-sings)

I have always loved a good summer sing and this one should be a good one (going off the music selected).

Meanwhile, back at the Pops, we're getting ready for a wonderful concert entitled "In The Beginning" with different pieces about beginnings and travel and rejoice.  From pieces by Aaron Copland and Carl Strommen to An American Trilogy from Mark Hayes and other pieces to entice anyone. 

That being said:  Over the course of the semester, check back for some bits-and-blerbs about each of the pieces!

Oh, and if anyone has any comments, please feel free to leave one through the "comments" button below!

Till later my friends and sing well!