Monday, January 16, 2012

Cell Phone vs. New York Phil

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  It is warm and windy here in Kansas City, and I have enjoyed my day away from school playing golf.

This week, I began work on several different projects.  I am preparing for many musical events coming up, and I have tried not to be overwhelmed.  I do have a new schedule change - my recital commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Soviet genocide of the Volga Germans has been moved to February 21 at White Recital Hall at the Conservatory.

I have some exciting events within the next month, including an audition with the Kansas City Symphony and Union Opera (St. Louis), two different Bach Cantata soloist gigs, a performance at K-State's Vocal Arts Day, Kansas City NATS competition, KC Symphony - Mahler's 2nd, and Carmina Burana at the Kauffman Center.  It will be a crazy, but exciting start to the year. To see my full schedule CLICK HERE

This week, as I have taken breaks from learning all kinds of music, I found a couple of youtube videos that were popular among my opera friends.  They are very funny, mainly because a lot of it is true!





Also this week, this happened:



I find it very interesting that people get so upset about this.  I would of course be upset if I were there, but is it ok that we are programmed this way?  Should it really make us upset?  We generally have music playing very often as we go about the day, multitasking.  Why is it ok to play and sing music while driving, but not listening and talking on a phone?  Why can you yell at a basketball game, but not at a tennis match?  All are distracting, but for some reason, it is only appropriate in specific situations and not in others.

I think that our western culture has decided that "art music" should be performed by professionals and that we should be silent during its performances because it likes propriety.  Western music is typically rigid and unchanging - heck we write it down so we can perform it exactly the same way for centuries on end.  So, it's a formal event with rules of etiquette.  Believe it or not, some cultures do not view music this way.  Some just start playing drums and people improvise the beats with dances and songs - everyone participates.  That seems more natural to me than what is "proper etiquette".

No wonder why people get all fussy about going to classical music concerts.  There are crazy rules to obey, like clapping after a jazz solo or opera aria but not between the movements of a symphony, of course you may not make any involuntary noises, whispers, cough drop wrapper crinkles, or bring your baby, and the ubiquitous "standing ovation" typically reserved for exceptional performances, is now just about the only way to tell the curtain dropper that: "We the audience have enjoyed the performance as demonstrated by our applause, but we are about to stop.  So, we will stand in order to get our coats back on and you have about 20-30 seconds before we make a mad dash for the exit."

Fortunately, there's an easy way to stop a cell phone from going off in a concert.  What I hope to discover is a way to keep that old man behind me from percolating a gallon of phlegm.  I'm pretty sure that in any musical tradition, he would be inappropriately gross. "Gag a maggot", as my mother would say.

Last week, we finished several of the auctions for the Kansas City Vocal Institute.  This week, we will be auctioning four more!

4 Infield Tickets to a Kansas City Royals Game
Stephen Flaherty autographed New York Pops CD
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor autographed Polo's Mother book
Rebecca Stead autographed When You Reach Me (Newbery Award Winner)

CLICK HERE TO BID

These private auction items generally are won at a very inexpensive price compared to our ebay items.  You should check them out and put out a bid if you are interested!

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