Thursday, October 3, 2013

Living a Dream

Hello, world!

It has been ages since my last post and frankly, I've lived a lifetime in the last several months.  While my personal life was in turmoil, I have had some great professional and academic achievements.  I do not know how I withstood all that without going crazy (and perhaps I did for a time!), but I am back at it - and back to my blog!

Since I last wrote, I have performed numerous times as a soloist to mostly sold-out performances at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City with the KC Symphony's Education Concerts, Bach's Mass in B Minor with Te Deum on my birthday no less, and Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb with the Kansas City Chorale.  I also performed in the chorus of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the UMKC Conservatory at the Kauffman Center.  Anyone who knows me well, knows how viscerally I love Beethoven symphonies!  I also performed as the Evangelist for Bach's St. John Passion, one of the most mentally challenging roles out there, and performed as a soloist with the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorale during a death-defying stretch of 15 concerts in 9 days.  I'm not joking!  And my Spring schedule rounded out with organizing the KSU Summer Choral Institute followed by a week of recording with the immaculate Simon Carrington Chamber Singers.  

Amid the noise, I also completed my Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  So, I'm officially Dr. Pinkall!!  AND at that same time, I also applied to an Instructor of Music position at my Alma Mater, Kansas State University, and was offered the job.  I feel like the luckiest person in the world - there's no place that I'd rather be!  Obviously, I didn't think twice about accepting, and I have since started my first semester teaching at K-State.

Unfortunately, with a break-neck recording and performance schedule, completing my Doctorate, applying and auditioning for my first position in academia, organizing a large summer music program, and suffering some enormous challenges in my personal life - I missed the deadline by a few hours to renew my season football tickets at K-State.  I had been a season ticket holder for 10 years!  Ugh!

With all of that and despite the loss of my football seats in Section 15, I can safely say that I am enjoying the stability of working at K-State!  I am loving my massive private studio of 20 amazing singers and I teach two Italian Diction classes.  I still perform with the Kansas City Chorale, it is one of my favorite things.  And I have added some concerts with a new group called Te Deum Antiqua.  Our first two concerts are this Saturday and Sunday in Kansas City!


However, today is a special day.  I want to announce something two years in the making.  I went through testing, language proficiencies, and interviews during that time for a very unique gig. I want my friends and family to know that I cannot say any specific information until after the event, but a few weeks ago, I received word that I had been selected by the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games to join the group tasked with the production of the Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia!

I will help in the management, production, and performance of the event itself, and will travel to Russia prior to the games to be on site with final preparations.

This is a complete dream come true for me in many ways.  My passion for the Olympics runs deep, and their ceremonies are likely the largest artistic event in the world.  I cannot fully express my gratitude to the Organizing Committee for this opportunity.  I cannot say any specifics on my role in the preparation or performance of the Opening Ceremony at this time since some of these details are highly secretive at the moment. Those involved with the ceremonies have agreed to keep sensitive information from the public until after the opening night.  That doesn't mean I can't talk about it - it just means that I have to be careful with what I say.

The Opening Ceremony will be on February 7, 2014 and will be broadcast to an estimated 2 billion people!

With that said though, I will once again provide weekly posts on this blog and track my progress to the Olympics as well as other happenings at K-State and with my many performances!

Thank you to Kansas State University and the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games for their flexibility in this process.  I am so excited!

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