If you haven't had a chance, to the right of this post you can sign up to receive updates when I post. Or, you can just check back every Monday! Anyway, shortly after I wrote my last blog, I received an email offering me a scholarship to sing in the top choir here at UMKC. In a lot of ways it was difficult to accept, because I was part of the KSU program for such a long time. I did accept, and I will be posting concert dates hopefully with plenty of prior notice. It is nice to be in choir again; I felt like something was missing otherwise.
I had a busy first week. I am in a history class discussing pre-classicism at the moment and an advanced counterpoint class. Both are very enlightening, I am really appreciating this music more now that I'm learning more about it.
My voice lessons have been going well. I was quite embarrassed by my first lesson, but my second lesson went better. I don't usually have total collapses in my lessons, but that first lesson was bad.
I found out that the donor of my scholarship is deceased, so I will not be able to meet them. That is unfortunate, but I am very grateful for what they are providing me. I wish I could have told them how much I appreciate their help.
I am in an opera workshop class and am hearing many of the graduate singers. They have been great so far! I am excited to sing with all of them. It is a little more competitive among the students, so I hope to make friends after these auditions are over. The teachers have been fantastic though, I appreciate their help and encouragement especially Dale Morehouse, my private teacher.
The auditions began last Saturday. I am not sure what type of tenor they are expecting my voice to be, but hopefully they will find it useful and artful. I sang Dies Bildniss and the first part of Lenski's Aria. I feel conflicted by how I performed.
I have only sang in the room once before, so it was a tough sound to get used to. Dies Bildniss went ok; I probably began too timid, but I revved it up for the rest of the aria. I have been trying to close the [e] vowel more up high, but because I have not practiced that enough, it was putting strain on my voice over the long haul. To do this, I have to cough up my tongue and still keep the soft palate high. In other words, try making a big yawn, while sticking your tongue out, and saying "eee". Now try that singing a high note...not so pretty, huh? So, I made a decision to sing like I have been with a much more opened approach. It went ok. Dies Bildniss is a difficult aria for many singers. It isn't incredibly high, but the tessitura is. (tessitura = the average range where most of the aria is sung)
Then the opera director, who just got back from directing in Boston (I think), wanted to hear the beginning of Lenki's Aria. It also went ok. The parts that I am best at, weren't all that great. It was hard to hear myself, so I had to trust the feel. It was a little too heavy and probably a little dark. I was called back for Tuesday evening auditions, so if I am going to sing that again, I will be sure to brighten it up a little bit to allow extra resonance to shine through.
In KCVI news, I have exciting news that Oleta Adams (R&B singer) and Lewis Spratlan (2000 Pulitzer Prize winner in music) are donating to help create a scholarship in their name! There is a lot of news and press coming out in the coming weeks. Hopefully, more will become interested and more kids here in Kansas City will be able to have lessons.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Tuesday - UMKC Opera Call Backs
Saturday - K-State vs. UCLA (that's right, we have season tickets!)