Note: a little ahead of the monthly schedule but I thought it would be a good read prior to open house.
When in doubt, go to the source. The only one of our merry band that’s been part of the Windward Choral Society MORE than 10 years…’cause she started the thing. I give you a tiny peek inside Susie’s head…
What do you recall from that first gathering following the Midweek article?
- My goal was 25 singers. I made 50 packets of music, double my goal. First night? 65 people showed up! Couldn’t believe it! All from a free, little post in the paper (and well, me dropping off flyers to every Windward church I could find).
Are there favorite pieces that we’ve done? What makes them favorites?
- Favorite pieces… oh, hard question. Love them all, for the most part. For different reasons. Some because I know they were difficult pieces and we nailed them. Some because they bring out the spirit of our chorus. Some because I know they touch singers in a profound way (I can tell by looking out into the chorus).
Can you give us a window into the thought process of deciding what pieces we’ll do? (This should be…interesting.)
- He. He. It’s a secret… unknown to me, too!!! Nah. Kinda joking. Just know that I have piles and piles of scores on my desk. Some are in the “must do sometime” pile, some are in the “maybe” pile, and some are in the “never in your life” pile. I choose music based on many things. Where are we musically? What do we need to work on (i.e. what would be a good piece for us to work on so that we can become stronger in that area). I choose music for the text, for the theme, for what I’m feeling, because of gut reactions… I could go on and on. But, I do take a considerable amount of time going through pieces to see what “resonates” with me, what I think would work with the chorus – our ability, our potential, and our spirit.
As you very well know, I also try and mix up styles, languages, cultures, or if a piece is performed a cappella or with instruments… never a dull moment, right? Yes, I could go on and on.
What are some of the moments from rehearsals and/or concerts that have stuck with you?
- Oh, those moments when every singer is focused as one and we end a piece knowing we just nailed it: musically, emotionally, spiritually. I love that feeling!!! It’s such a natural high!
The first entry of this series described the personality of the choir as one of trust. Is that something you agree with or would you characterize it differently? And regardless of the word you use, can you expand on it?
- Trust. Yes, it’s all about trust and you captured it perfectly in your Blog. Thank you. I think it is trust that set choruses a part. Any chorus can sing, but not all can touch the soul. Trust makes all the difference. My goal for myself is to be vulnerable with the singers. My hope for them is that they become vulnerable with me. It makes the music more “human” and it can only happen when trust exists. It’s magic and a huge blessing!!! Imua, Windward Choral Society!