Sunday, August 12, 2012

An alternate plan

One of my chosen pieces may not work. Both Sally & Jan have considerable doubts about the piece and it creating weakness in the overall program. At TCDA, I spoke with Sally about the repertoire, she expressed her concern about the piece, but seemed to like all of the other pieces. On Wednesday, I met with Jan, she expressed similar concerns and loved the rest of the program. Their concerns with the piece - this is vocally taxing on middle school voices, the phrasing is extremely difficult to achieve correctly, it won't tune well. Ugh. Jan is a great resource. As she sightreads, she whistles. In tune. It's amazing. Then as we are discussing the repertoire, she begins to tell me the pitfalls and highlights of each piece.
  • "This piece, you are going to have to drill the scale so they will lock in every pitch."
  • "Boy, you are going to make sure the girls don't run away with tempo on this one."
  • "This one is FUN!"
  • "This is a good recording of the piece, but they are missing the point of emphasizing beat 1 in this language."
  • "I love the contrast of these two pieces."
It was good meeting that made me think and believe that I had chosen all but 1 piece correctly.

Here is what I knew long before I ever submitted an application to perform at TMEA - I will consult the great choral minds that I know in order to become a better musician. Jan Juneau, Sally Schott, Julie Birkner, John Hornbeck, Denise Eaton, Dennis Boyter, etc....these people mean so much to me. More than they know. I also knew that I wanted a fresh, different kind of program. I didn't want brand new music - beyond one commissioned piece. I didn't want a tried and true program. I wanted different. So, in asking for opinions, I understand what I am doing. I am asking for feedback.

Along the way, the feedback begins to consume me. I have to be careful because I can allow feedback to sway me completely. I almost feel like I should do what they are telling me to do out of respect for my elders. oy vey. I may need more therapy. OR I can use it constructively - the intended use.

I have looked at the original piece up one side and down the other, I don't see what Jan & Sally see and know. Jan & I dug for more than an hour for other ideas. I emailed Sally asking for ideas. She offered a couple. I put together a slate of 4 new choices. Both of them came to the same conclusion. I gave the 4 choices to Michael - he liked the piece that they liked and had programming ideas for it.

So, I will order this new piece of music tomorrow so that I can SEE it in print. I like the new piece a lot. This is not a done deal. I'm just considering a substitution. If I like it, then I have to be at peace with the change.

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