Monday, May 9, 2011

Joy Spring

This past Friday evening my "Story Song Stage" class at The New School presented their final performance, ending this semester. We had a packed house and the students did themselves proud.

We had taken time and care to give our show an appropriate title: you guessed it, "Joy Spring," and one of the lovely young ladies in the class sang the very intricate jazz selection which lent its name to the show. Needless to say I was very proud because it was so well received.

Another source of pride was the participation of my wife, Etta, who accompanied one of the selections on cello. I took a chance and had the Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa Lobos performed by eight voices, one cello, piano, upright bass, and drums. It is a very serious classical work intended for eight cellists and one soprano. I had presented this work in my company before with great successes, but had never ventured until now to change the tempo to a slight Bossa Nova feel and only use one cello. IT WORKED!

There were many other highlights and the students felt quite accomplished.

Our show title was also appropriate because of the JOY I feel in being able to share that my vocal manual, The Art of Jazz and Bel Canto, is finished and published. This is not a how-to book, but a guide and support for vocal maintenance and longevity. I am most GRATEFUL to have gotten this done; next, is the memoir, which is still in the works.

Spring also brings the acknowledgement of my position this summer at Morgan State University as a faculty member for their Opera Workshop. My last experience there was so wonderful, my anticipation is over the top.

So "Joy Spring" is truly a beginning, not just the end of a semester. BRAVO class of "Story Song Stage" 2011. Thanks to my beloved cellist Etta, pianist Nori Ochiai, bass player Lucas Dedmon, and drummer Andrej Hochevar. It was a JOY.

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