Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm Back! It's Been too long.

Well I know I have been away from the computer for far too long and just havent had the time I thought I would to actually post anything. I have been up to a lot but none of them really should have been excuse to not blog.

So here are the things I have been doing. Back in January I moved. Not out of Ottawa but just out of my parents house and into a sweet apartment downtown. Nice Two bedroom within walking distance of almost everything I do. I have also been ridiculously busy with singing. I have joined the Larkin Singers and have travelled to Toronto to sing with them. I have learned both choir parts of the St Matthew Passion and also sung the testes one part. I have also just started a new job. I am now working for the Sport Information Resource Centre, which is basically a sports library. So with all of this, you now have my excuse for not writing in a long time, but hopefully I am back and able to write. So here goes.

As stated, I have recently sung the St Matthew Passion. The learning of this started as Choir One back in January. Then about three weeks before was told I was going to be singing choir two with the Larkin Singers. The learning of this started the weekend of the concert with the rest of the Larking Singers(or a core of Larkin Singers and a bunch of friends filling it out). I was asked the week before to sing the part of Testes One. Totally fun to sing and had a blast singing it with Christopher Mahon, a great tenor from Toronto. The highlight of the concert was definitely Baritone Sean Watson singing Mache Dich. He has a voice that is just pure chocolate! The next best part of the concert were the Boys of Christ Church Cathedral Choir. During the first chorus, the power and musicality of the boys truly brought the piece to life, sending shivers down the spine.

I also have now had the enjoyment of being invited to singing with the Larkin Singers. They are a Professional group that are now in their third season. They are made up of singers from both the Toronto and Ottawa areas, that have had extenisive singing experience together in various other professional choirs. If you ever have the opportunity to hear the Larkin Singers do not pass it up! A truly enjoyable experience.

That I believe is the extent of the updates, but I feel some of the above is a good start towards the goals from the beginning of the year. Lets see how much of it I can actually accomplish. Which will I tackle next?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

So now is the time we all set our resolutions. So what is mine going to be? Good question? I haven't ever been really any good at keeping these things. I think for the past 5 years it has been trying to lose weight. We all know how successful that has been! I think it would be just better for me to set myself some goals. Some easy, some harder. So let's see what I come up with.

1. Record a Cd of Britten Folksong arrangements.
2. Get more exposure.
3. Get more solo work.
4. Put on a concert with a capella group.
5. Put on a concert of countertenor music. (I think this might be a joint project)
6. Record an audition cd for work outside of Ottawa.
7. Get some solo recordings posted on Youtube for exposure.

I think those will be good fun. Hopefully I can accomplish a couple in the near future and work on rest gradually.I know that the audition CD that I will start on sooner rather than later, especially since I should have done this when first got back to Canada.

I wish you all the best of luck with your New Year's resolutions.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Long time, no blog!

Well I have finally found a little bit of time to actually sit down and blog again! Just like any other musician, Christmas gets to be the busiest time of year! I have been doing a lot of singing and a lot of concerts. Some went better then others! This advent I sang with Ottawa Choral Society's Christmas concert which wasn't the best concert ever, but lets not re-live that. I also sang in the 13 Strings Christmas concert with 17 Voyces as soloist and ringer for the choir. This was a great concert, conducted by Nathan Brock (Young assistant conductor of MSO). We performed Purcell's Te Deum and Jubilate, Some Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Finzi.

The good thing is, I finally started a little a capella group a la King's Singers. I think the name being tossed around at the moment was King Ringers or was it the Bling Singers. Oh well great fun! We sang carols before the Midnight service, which I think was a successful start. Hopefully we can keep going with regular rehearsals and get some fun stuff in the repertoire. A little Billy Joel, a little Beatles, a little Tallis, and everything in between. I'll keep you all posted.

Christmas services were excellent at the Cathedral over the past few days. But because of that it made me miss Truro all that much more. But I do still have contact with many of the people thanks to the beauty of technology.

So now it's time to start working on the repertoire again and get things together for an audition for the New Discoveries Program. Hopefully should lead to more solo work if I do well enough.

Let the fun begin.

Monday, November 9, 2009


So I was starting to think over the weekend about what my favourite pieces would be. There are so many different factors that come into play, that I was thinking that maybe its more realistic to choose a favorite piece in different categories. However, the issue with trying to do this is figuring out fair categories so that that I am not lumping too much or too little together. But then I started to really think about it properly... and thought... screw this! Lets just try to list as many of my favourites as possible:

Es ist vollbracht - St John Passion - J.S. Bach
Erbarme dich - St Matthew Passion - J.S. Bach
Lord, thou hast been our refuge - R.V. Williams
Missa Brevis - Z. Kodaly
Chichester Psalms - L. Bernstein

and the list goes on, but I think I'll continue it later.....after you give me yours!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Durufle Requiem

HOW SWEET IT IS!!! Every time I sing the Durufle it just totally rekindles my love for music beyond belief. It is just the perfect piece of music. And when your voice is in fine form it just makes it that much better! I now look forward to a lot of singing!

Okay.... so now I am going to get a little off topic, but what in the world is happening with drivers in Ottawa? Since being home I have had to avoid endless number of stupid morons who don't signal when changing lanes, or for that matter check the blind spots! I have been cut off about ten times by people using on/off ramps on the 417/416/Bronson to undertake people! WHO in the world ever thought that was a safe way to drive!

So back to music....What to do next? I am about to get a small a capella choir started in the hopes that we might get a little Christmas Concert together or at least some high quality carolling. The OCS is moving and I have figured out bass is not my thing! The Cathedral Choir is sounding excellent. So maybe an a capella close harmony group a la Kings Singer's. Would be loads of fun and could be quite excellent. Alright lads lets try to get this started!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's been Ages!

Sorry Guys, I know it has almost been a month since my last post, but we all get busy sometimes! I have been doing a lot of singing including an NAC pops concert. Which, after doing, I realized was a massive waste of this Countertenors time, especially as I was singing bass! The things we'll do for a paycheque. My voice felt destroyed after doing 7 straight days of shouting bass to try to cover some of the riff-raff around me.

On an exciting note, I have totally gotten myself into the modern world with the purchase of a Blackberry. This thing is amazing. I love it. But I guess I'm kind of still in the honeymoon period of day two. It's so much cheaper to operate than the slider phone I had on Pay and Talk. Why did I ever think that $75 in three weeks was going to be a good deal! Now I have free texting and virtually free calling. So much better.

Tomorrow is a big day at CCC. Big music at the morning service and Durufle Requiem in the afternoon. The morning service will include:
And I saw a new heaven - Bainton
Behold, O God, our Defender - Howells
New Jerusalem - Ager

Unfortunately with big music like that we are doing Darke in F. But I'm willing to make that sacrifice for the rest of it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

Well it has been a very good Turkey day, and once again I have the typical turkey stomach. The service this morning at CCC was very good considering what mass setting we were singing! The setting was Darke in E one of the most boring Parish church settings, however the rest of the music was pretty lush. We did 'I Looked, And Behold a White Cloud' - Healey Willan - Uber lush with a fantastic tenor recit kicks it off. We also did a Larkin motet - 'Nisi Dominus'.

There was only one thing that caught my attention that totally didn't make sense to me today. We were lead into the Creed ' Let us join together in the ancient words of the Nicene Creed'. Yet the version they do at CCC is a modern text from the Book of Alternative Services. How can these words be ancient?

I know its been a while since I have actually properly written on here but I have actually been busy. I have been doing a lot of singing and working recently. Tomorrow is actually like my first proper day off in ages. So I guess it will be time to try to organise doing a recording or at least try to organise what music to record! I am thinking 'Ombra mai fu' - Handel and a couple of Bach pieces and perhaps get a little Schubert. Call it as it goes.

The other thing to get started on is planning and photocopying music for the a capella choir I'm starting. But it has also struck me it would be great fun to start a 6 voice a capella group King's Singers style.

I have also recently discovered Eric Whitacre's blog and He is currently doing this cool scholarship and virtual choir project. You guys should totally check it out! I'm thinking it would be good fun!