Monday, August 27, 2012

Performance Schedule

My performance schedule for this year is always fluctuating.  Now, when you come to my blog, you can just click on the link in the black bar above to check out what concerts I have coming up!  As always, I will be singing at Village Presbyterian Church every Sunday morning - but this would be a very long post if I included all of that!

Behold...



Saturday, January 26

Horse, "How the Camel Got His Hump" opera
WORLD PREMIERE
White Recital Hall, KC, MO
10:00am - $10






Sunday, February 10

55th Annual Grammy Awards
Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA
7:00pm CT - CBS

KC Chorale nominated for "Best Choral Performance" and "Best Engineered Album, Classical"





Sunday, February 24

Conservatory Choir Concert
White Recital Hall, KC, MO
7:30pm - Ticket info not available








Monday, February 25

Kansas City Chorale and The Concordia Choir
Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS
7:30pm - $10-$25
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS




Saturday, March 2

Conservatory Choirs
A Celebration of Peace
Community of Christ Temple
Independence, MO
FREE








Saturday, March 9

Rock of Ages
Kansas City Chorale
St. Michael the Archangel, Leawood, KS
7:30pm - Price $30 (student $10) 
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS








Sunday, March 10

Rock of Ages
Kansas City Chorale
Visitation Church, KC, MO
2pm - Price $30 (student $10)
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS










Tuesday, March 12

Rock of Ages
Kansas City Chorale
Asbury Methodist, Prairie Village, KS
7:30 - Price $30 (student $10) 
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS






Sunday, March 17

Rock of Ages
Kansas City Chorale
Liberty United Methodist, Liberty, MO
7:30 - Price $30 (student $10) 
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS




Saturday, April 6

Rock of Ages
Kansas City Chorale
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Ticket info to come...




Sunday, April 14
Evangelist, St. John Passion - J.S. Bach

with UMKC Conservatory Singers
Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, KC, MO
7:30pm - FREE







Sunday, April 28
Soloist, B Minor Mass - J.S. Bach

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KC, MO
7pm - FREE
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS







Monday, May 6

Beethoven Symphony No. 9
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KC, MO
 7:30pm - Price $31 
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS








Saturday, May 18

Conservatory Commencement
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KC, MO
10am - FREE
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Friday, May 24

The Chorale at the Kauffman: the Durufle "Requiem"
Kansas City Chorale (with great friend, Jan Kraybill) Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KC, MO
8pm - Price $46 
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS






PREVIOUS CONCERTS



Sunday, October 7

Northern Lights
Kansas City Chorale
Redemptorist Church, KC, MO
2pm - Price $30 ($10 student) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS












Sunday, October 7

CANTATE!
UMKC Conservatory Singers
White Recital Hall, KC, MO
5pm - Not Open to the Public





Tuesday, October 9

Northern Lights
Kansas City Chorale
Asbury Methodist Church, Prairie Village, KS
7:30pm - Price $30 ($10 student) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS







Sunday, October 14

UMKC Conservatory Singers Concert
Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS
3pm - FREE








Sunday, October 28 - Soloist, Mass in C - Beethoven

Beethoven in the Village
Village Orchestra, Village Choir, JCCC Chamber Choir, Valley View UMC Chamber Choir
Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS
5pm - FREE






Tuesday, October 30

David Farwig recital
UMKC Conservatory Singers
Old Mission UMC, Prairie Village, KS
7:30pm - FREE










Friday, November 2

CRESCENDO
UMKC Conservatory Singers
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KC, MO
Invitation Only







Wednesday, November 7

John Corigliano Concert
UMKC Conservatory Singers
White Recital Hall, KC, MO
7:30pm - Price $9 (free for students) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS












Saturday, November 10

The Sacred Around Us
Te Deum Vocal Ensemble
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, KC, MO
7:30pm - FREE






Sunday, November 11
The Sacred Around Us
Te Deum Vocal Ensemble
Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS - 3pm - FREE





Monday, November 12

The Sacred Around Us
Te Deum Vocal Ensemble
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Lawrence, KS
7:30pm - FREE












Saturday, December 1

Harvester's Concert
UMKC Conservatory Singers
Visitation Catholic Church, KC, MO
7pm - FREE









Saturday, December 8

Family Holiday Concert
Kansas City Chorale, 8 High School Choirs
Visitation Church, KC, MO
7pm - Price $10 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS







Sunday, December 9

The Holidays in Great Britain
Kansas City Chorale
Redemptorist Church, KC, MO
2pm - Price $30 (student $10) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS







Tuesday, December 11

The Holidays in Great Britain
Kansas City Chorale
Asbury Methodist, Prairie Village, KS
7:30pm - Price $30 (student $10) CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS







Sometime, December 2012

Bryan Pinkall's Doctoral Recital - Village Presbyterian Church (hopefully) - tba







Sunday, December 16

Tidings of Joy
Village Orchestra, Village Choir
Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS
3pm & 6pm - FREE



Monday, August 20, 2012

KC Chorale & Yale Wrap-up

Today is my last first day of school.  It also may be the first last day of my car, which wouldn't start after I returned from my fellowship at Yale's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

Life on the Estate at Yale's Norfolk Festival

Life on the Estate at Yale's Norfolk Festival

I had an amazing experience with the folks in Connecticut.  The performing went great, but I couldn't tell if I was in Connecticut or in Tolkien's Shire living in my cottage on the Ellen Battell Stoeckel estate (however, the Shire didn't have a chef that could make me gain weight!) It was a perfect week. I was surrounded by brilliant musicians from all over the world, and not to sound too pretentious, but it was nice to not be around "normal" people for awhile.  I cannot wait to meet up with some of my new friends and colleagues in the future.  I have already tried to arrange some recordings when some of us are both in the same part of the world.  Most of all, I am excited about music again.

Before I go any further, I need to say that I will have my upcoming performance schedule available next Monday on my blog - but if you cannot wait to know any concert dates, you can always email me at bryanpinkall@gmail.com.

My schedule in the first half of the year was incredible and torturous, but now I am completely rejuvenated and motivated - thanks, especially to the brilliant Simon Carrington.  This year, as I stated before, I will be performing as a soloist for several concerts: Beethoven's Mass in C, Bach's St. Matthew Passion, and Bach's B Minor Mass at the Kauffman Center.  I am also continuing my internship at Village Presbyterian Church (the third largest Presbyterian church in the nation) and I am loving it - I am still excited about great music performed by enthusiastic singers of any age.

When I was picked up from the train station last week, I was asked, "Where are you from?"  I said, "Kansas City!" The driver responded, "Oh, the Choral Capitol of the World."

Now, I've heard that expression before, but only from people around Kansas City.  However, when a Yale Professor says that; it makes me think a little differently about the comment.  Of course, many great choral directors have and still do direct in the Kansas City metro area, and I am very proud to be a part of the choral community here. In fact, this year, I will be performing as a soloist in several Bach Cantatas at the Conservatory in the monthly Bach's Lunch chamber concerts, which are incredibly fun, especially when there is a room filled like an arena, seating on all sides, with Bach enthusiasts, eating their sandwiches as quietly as possible.  I will also be on scholarship with the Conservatory's top choral ensemble, Conservatory Singers, with Dr. Robert Bode.  As I stated before, I will join the chamber choral group Te Deum for several concerts including the Bach B Minor Mass on my birthday next year at the Kauffman Center with the Kansas City Baroque Consortium. And finally, I am announcing that I will also be performing with Kansas City's premiere vocal ensemble the Kansas City Chorale.

The KC Chorale is a world-famous ensemble, Grammy Award-winning, and passionate about making stellar choral music.  I am very excited to begin working with them, and I cannot wait to see what all the next year will hold, but I do anticipate even more exciting gigs and events.

Many of my upcoming concerts will be held here - Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life On the Estate & Rehearsals

I have been in rehearsals all day - every day this week at Yale's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.  Check out my last blog entry if you would like to know exactly why I am here, but today I will show you what exactly I have been up to.

The estate of Ellen Battell Stoeckel
Every morning, I wake up early and from my cottage on the estate of Ellen Battell Stoeckel. I walk on a little path, across a small brook, past the barn (where the instrumentalists practice - in their natural environment of course - it's actually a world class studio, not a barn, but they call everything by simple names here), and up a large hill to the Battell house where the cook has made breakfast for everyone on the estate.  It's a full meal and unfortunately, after several days, the food has caused me considerable pain if you consider the stress on my bowels and bladder from the capacious volume of food and water I've been inhaling.  We are in rehearsals for most of the day - which means I must keep my energy and keep hydrated - my body hates me for it!

The estate of Ellen Battell Stoeckel

Chairs on the lawn at the estate of Ellen Battell Stoeckel
Our first rehearsals are in an old room with old chairs and old instruments.  We are not allowed to put any drinks on the 1864 Steinway, but it is in great working shape!  I tested it out, not knowing my next chance to play such an old instrument - but in rehearsals, we use an ultra-modern and elaborately ornamented 1895 Steinway instead.

I brought my backpack full of music with me and set up my "station" by placing my music on the stand, setting it to the right height, making sure my water bottle is out and my pencil works, and I take off my shoes and put them in the back of the room - so I can be comfortable.  The chairs are very old and very uncomfortable, so I constantly have to stretch.

The singers are set in an arch and generally, we were expected to have our music proficiently learned before we arrived.  Our rehearsals are not meant to learn notes, like most amateur music rehearsals are around the world; instead we try to create the correct sound, make pitches perfectly in tune and in the correct style of the piece, perfect our diction and language.  It's difficult to describe the level of perfection that is required unless you sit-in on the rehearsal, and I suppose it would be a little funny to imagine a "tone deaf" person observing because so much of our rehearsals center around pitch and timbre (the quality of the sound) - I would assume most wouldn't be able to tell the difference if you didn't know what to listen for, but there really is much to work on.  

The music we are performing are in many different styles - some for soloists, some for small ensemble, and some strict choral settings.  Some pieces are very old: "Peccantem me quotidie" by Cristobal de Morales (early 16th century), "Venite populi" by Mozart (late 18th century), and "Lieto godea" by Gabrieli (mid 16th century).  Some of the music is very new or brand new as well.  One piece is called Song for Billie Holiday by William Averitt.  It was written in 2009 and the words are by Langston Hughes.  It is a solo accompanied by a few voices and four-hand piano.  It is incredibly moving, bringing one conductor to tears.  I am performing a piece in Hebrew (pretty rare for me) called Uri Tsafon by J.C. Rommereim from 2002 with voices, string quartet, and piano - the text is a sultry/erotic portion of the Song of Songs!  One of my other favorite pieces is a set of Aesop's Fables which includes spoken and sung text - it's witty and brilliant - and I'm singing a version of the psalm text "Praise Ye the Lord" accompanied by a solo trombone which is quite interesting and exciting.

We're giving the World Premiere of a piece by Loren Loiacono.  I've been able to talk to the composer about it a lot over the last few days and I really love it.  It is called "The Awakening" written for soloists and a chamber group of strings, percussion/xylophone, and bass clarinet.  It is completely beautiful, spooky, and depressive!  The lyrics are from the end of the Kate Chopin novel of the same name, where a woman liberates herself from her inner turmoil and walks into the ocean and swims until her death.  The music alternates between a woman and the narrator and as her ambiguous death approaches, the music also ambiguously blends the narrator and woman.  Here's the text:
"How strange and awful to stand naked under sky.  How strange like some newborn creature opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known. How strange and awful. How delicious! The foamy wavelets curled up to my white feet and coiled like serpents about my ankles.  The water was chill, but I walked on.  The water was deep, but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long sweeping stroke.  And the touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close, embrace.  She went on and on.  I remembered the night I swam far out and recalled the terror that seized me at the fear of being unable to regain the shore.  Her arms and legs were growing very tired.  I remember the bluegrass meadow, that I had traversed as a little child, thinking it endless.  No beginning, no end.  My husband, the children, they were a part of my life, but they needn't have thought that they could possess me body and soul.  Goodbye, because I love you. He did not know, he did not understand, he'd never understand.  She heard her father's voice and her sister Margaret's.  She heard the barking of an old dog chained to the sycamore tree.  The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch.  There was the hum of bees and the musky odor of pinks filled the air."
I think the piece is brilliant - and a brilliant view of the mind as she approaches her death.  Hopefully the recording will be available soon hereafter.

My next update will be about our performance - it is the final performance of the entire festival, and just like the last performance at Woodstock, I hope we can be the Jimi Hendrix of the Norfolk Festival - memorable, and however unlikely, if our recording could also be included in a fireworks show on the Fourth of July, that would be great as well!

The estate of Ellen Battell Stoeckel

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fellow Bryan

Greetings from Connecticut!  I'm currently a Fellow at Yale University's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.  This is one of the oldest music festivals in North America and certainly one of the most renown.  Today, I'll give you a quick run-around and in the coming days I will have photos and stories from my short stay.

Norfolk Chamber Music Festival 2012

Back in March, I applied to Yale to be a part of this.  I was extremely fortunate to be invited and to be awarded the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship which covers all the expenses during my stay.  I reckon that most who read this do not know what this program is so...

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival hosts 30 concerts during the summer and invites some of the world's most prolific composers with amazing musicians to share music among friends.  I am currently staying on the estate of Ellen Battell Stoeckell who was one of the wealthiest persons in the world in the late 19th century.  It is hard to explain her wealth, except to say that her estate has many cottages (one of which is my home for the week) and houses, greenhouses, barns, etc.  It is absolutely gorgeous!  It isn't a castle, but what appears to be quaint on the outside is horribly luxurious on the inside.  The White House (main mansion) of the estate looks simple on the outside, but the music room inside is covered with gold leaf walls, Tiffany windows, and contains one of the world's greatest art collections.  The dining room, filled with ancient European furniture, has an elephant skin ceiling.

Ellen Battell Stoeckel White House

Then there is the little music shed out back.  The Music Shed may sound like a nice barn, but before the Panama Canal was built, Ellen Battell Stoeckel had Redwood Trees in California logged, shipped from California around the southern tip of South America and up to New York City, then carried by horse-team a short ways before giving up because the massive size of the logs were nearly impossible to move around the bends of the mountain trails and roads leading into Connecticut.  So, instead of milling the logs into boards and then transporting the boards, she did what any multi-millionairess would do.  She built an entire railroad to her estate just to transport the logs, and she made a quaint little music shed out of the Redwood.

Ellen Battell Stoeckel Music Shed

Music Shed at the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate

With stupendous accoustics, the Music Shed is an amazing place and what's more amazing is with whom I'm humbled to share the honor.  When I arrived here, I received a little card saying "Welcome to the Yale School of Music - Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.  This summer, you will be following in the footsteps of musicians like Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Percy Granger..."  Oh, my!  Yes, they all have been a part of this experience - Vaughan Williams premiered his Pastoral Symphony here by the way.
Inside the Music Shed

Inside the Music Shed

As to who is here this year, I am one of 14 singers performing all sorts of chamber music from really old to brand new; from no accompaniment to full orchestra.  There are 10 conductors (including Simon Carrington) and 80 instrumental performers who received fellowships and are artists at the festival including the Tokyo String Quartet (universally recognized as one of the greatest string quartets - after 30 years, they will perform their last concert EVER at this festival next year), several Grammy winners, and the composers James Wood (studied with Nadia Boulanger!), Martin Bresnick (2 time Oscar nominee for music), Aaron Kernis (1998 Pulitzer), David Lang (2008 Pulitzer), and Christopher Theofanidis!  Needless to say, I'm in academic musician heaven!  I have already found many friends - many of them are around my age and have received way too many college degrees than necessary, so I feel right at home in many ways.  But, I am one of only 13 from a public University so I am very proud to represent the University of Missouri Kansas City and for that matter, I'm proud to represent all the "average Johanns" out there making their way into music with the tireless help and heart of many selfless public school teachers.  Musicians were invited from every continent (all the warm ones that is) and from many of the most prestigious music schools in the world.  It truly is an amazing place.

But that's all for now...tomorrow, I will let you in on some of what I have been working on!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to Normal Life?

Wow, I cannot believe the response I have had with all of the ceremonial videos and my Olympic Ceremony Database www.olympicceremony.org.  These last couple months, I have left my typical Monday routine and posted videos and information about all of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  I intend to put all the Winter Olympic ones up in the future, but it is certainly a labor of love as one blogger wrote.  In the meantime, I've had up to 100,000 readers every day - causing my blog to crash momentarily.  Amazingly, this blog has been featured on public television and radio in the Netherlands for my coverage of the 1928 games in Amsterdam!
So, what have I been doing in the meantime.  Well, I have been relaxing for one, but I am the kind of personality that doesn't do well with time off - mentally, I must keep active and these Olympic posts have been doing that.  After I returned from my opera in Pennsylvania, I honestly was completely drained.  I had a packed school schedule last year and the most rigorous performance schedule of my life - I needed a break. So, I did what any opera singer would do.  I helped to start two off-shoot companies of my own Kansas City Vocal Institute - www.kcvocalinstitute.com.  Last month, the Philadelphia Vocal Institute - www.philadelphiavocalinstitute.com - got off the ground running and this month we will be launching the Boston Vocal Institute.  These other companies were started by several good friends of mine who are great musicians with super intelligence and big hearts, trying to give folks in these communities affordable opportunities in music education.
Surely that wasn't enough work, so I have also been exercising.  Now, I am completely self-conscious about my image and HATE taking my shirt off.  So maybe this will help me not be so afraid in the future.  In my professional opinion, opera singers don't necessarily exercise enough, and I surely fall into that category.  I have known about different workout programs and it just so happens that a friend of mine started p90x and I have had other friends and musicians who were currently doing p90x.  They look to be in great shape.  If you don't know, p90x is an extreme workout program that is only 90 days long, but it takes a lot of drive, mental strength, and loud operatic screams to get through it.  So, I started, but I couldn't keep up the routine during two of my week-long gigs and I likely won't be able to next week, but I'll get to that in a second.  So instead of 90 days of extreme workouts, I had to push that a little longer and I'll have the pictures to prove it when I'm done at the beginning of September.  Already, I feel great and wanted to push myself further, so I decided to start running again...and not just any kind of running but long distance timed runs.  Last month I ran about 150 miles and this month I should be around 200 miles!  It's been a lot of fun and I've never felt better.
Next week, I'm off to Yale!  If you don't remember, I was awarded a fellowship from Yale back in April to sing at their Norfolk Music Festival.  I am super excited and have been studying the music - it should be a great experience.
I also have several exciting announcements about my upcoming gigs.  I am singing the National Anthem on TV nation-wide on GolTV for the US Open Cup Final (soccer's national championship) featuring Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders FC.  It's likely that few reading this purchased the extra fourth-tier sports channel package from their cable provider, and if that's the case I suppose you'll just have to imagine a loud packed stadium with lots of fireworks, while I try not to forget the words.  Last week, I was able to sing the National Anthem at a Sporting KC vs. Stoke City (from the UK) and sang both the Star-Spangled Banner and God Save the Queen.  I don't get "jittery" nervous that often, but for some reason, I was completely off my game with the UK's anthem - I sang it just fine, but was extremely nervous about it for whatever reason.

I am also scheduled to be a soloist in Beethoven's Mass in C with the Village Symphony and Choir on October 28.  I also have several great professional choir gigs as well.  I am planning to sing with the Conservatory Singers again and be the Evangelist in a Bach Passion next April (which makes me super excited) and I will be singing with Te Deum and be the tenor soloist in Bach's B Minor Mass at the Kauffman Center on my birthday (April 28).

In addition to all of that, I am finally scheduled to take my Doctoral Comprehensive Exams this Semester - for that I am terrified and horribly anxious.  And, I will be performing in a solo recital likely at the end of the semester.

Believe it or not, I have much more to talk about in the coming weeks and there are some other gigs still up in the air, but I will let you know as soon as I get the go-ahead.  Until then, enjoy the Olympics and my next update will be from beautiful New Haven, Connecticut on the campus of Yale University.