It was such a privilege to be part of the first choral concert in the Esplanade Concert Hall since the pandemic began, and no better programme to begin with than with Bach!
I realised that if I don’t write about these concerts I forget about them in the long run, so I’m attempting to be a bit more disciplined about it.
I must say one of the greatest joys was getting to know my fellow musicians – apart from Brenda this was the first time I met the others. Looking forward to future projects together!
The greatest challenge? Making this music (that was intended for churches and small venues) work in an EXTRA LARGE venue. Voices disperse easily in a space like the Concert Hall, and with us having to be 2 metres apart on stage, hearing each other well was a real challenge. And it was a fine balance singing out fully so that we could be heard, but also making sure we could still hear everyone else. No easy task! But it was nice having enough time in the venue to get used to the sensation of singing, and we scheduled ample rehearsal time in general so that really helped. Was so pleased that we were able to make music, and to be singing the most meaningful words on Good Friday.
As always, some pictures to remember the occasion:
I had a blast working on a cosy programme of Christmas music yesterday with old RCM friends Shimona and Jinhong, and new friends Wei En and Reuben! The video is still available below (or here if you want to watch it on YouTube):
Really glad that SO MANY people watched it and loved it – what a wonderful thing to be able to do with modern technology (though it doesn’t replace the real thing of course!) Looking forward to deeper friendships and more music-making in the year ahead.
Special thanks to Shimona’s parents for opening up their home so graciously!
I’ve had a great time working with the cast and crew of UCL Culture’s production of Kurt Weill’s very rarely performed The Tsar Wants His Photograph Taken which we performed on Saturday at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Lovely to meet new friends and make some (incredibly difficult) music together!
A great preview from The Guardian can be found here.
5 Dec 2018, 7.30pm, Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge
Had a FANTASTIC time last night.
Things of note from the evening:
(1) This Messiah includes some of the briskest tempi I’ve ever heard (let alone sung), which gave it an energy and clarity that I enjoyed.
(2) The AAM sounded absolutely beautiful. It was such a joy to sing with them, and Barney really inspired all of us to perform as a unit.
(3) The Facebook comments on the live stream were seriously entertaining. (I read them after the performance, not during, if anyone was wondering!) It made for a great train journey back to London after.
(4) Absolute hero Pete Norris rushed down to Cambridge after his audition at the RCM in time for the second half. Much respect to him for making it down!
(5) The texts in Messiah really hit me last night – it wasn’t easy to swallow some of it, especially when singing about Jesus’ suffering (“and with his stripes we are healed”). Knowing that his “yoke is easy and burden is light” when it doesn’t always feel that way was also really challenging. But what a testimony that Jesus came to suffer as a human being (“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead”) – he had to, and he did. And what a joy that he was WORTHY to be slain and to give us his righteousness. I was challenged and encouraged in equal measure; it was quite an experience. I’m still processing a lot of it. Praise God that he speaks to us with words and music right into our souls.
For now, it’s quick gig with Untune the Sky on Saturday and then back to Singapore for Christmas to see family and friends – it’s really special looking back on a really great year of challenges, growth and music making. I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring.
Katie and I were interviewed at our final Genesis course a number of months ago and here’s the result – I had a FANTASTIC time throughout and if you’re a choral singer this is an exceptional opportunity! Harry and Eamonn are the loveliest people (and top-notch musicians of course), and we had really great guest conductors in our time too (Jamie Burton Tanglewood Festival Chorus / BSO and Justin Doyle RIAS Kammerchor).
But the friendships – that’s the really special stuff. I still see my Genesis friends quite a bit and it always brightens my day when I do. It’s so hard to figure out what it means to be a singer but it’s so much easier with a lovely cohort of friends who share the same artistic/technical struggles and convictions! I feel really blessed to have them in my life.
It’s the final project with the St Martin’s Voices Fellows (8th of 8) – time really flies! We’ve had such varied experiences including the Greenbelt Festival, Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Southbank Sinfonia, bread and butter gigs at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and now a short Scotland tour.
It’s so sad to say goodbye to these guys but it’s been so great to get to know everyone and make music together. Oh and we had a smashing game of Articulate last night too (; Till next time!!
I had the most amazing time performing with Lauren Lodge-Campbell, Bethany Horak-Hallett, Ed Jowle, Hannah Ely, Kimon Barakos, Bethany Partridge, Trolley (Richard Robbins) and many others. Was left incredibly inspired by director Tom Guthrie and musical director Deborah Roberts, drummer Pete Flood, violinist Olly Webber and the whole host of early instrumentalists (including the great recorder duo Flauti d’echo!). Incredibly grateful to Claire Williams (harpsichord) and James Bramley (chittarone) for being such sensitive, solid musicians to work with on a score as complex as this one.
But perhaps the biggest inspiration was the dancers of Streetfunk and choreographer JP Omari. So blessed to be in the presence of youthful energy and artistic greatness!
Something tells me this isn’t the last time we’ll be working together.
Excellent reviews here and here. Click here to access the programme.
And of course, some epic pics:
p.s. The cap was Tom’s idea – absolute stroke of genius!