Sunday, January 13, 2013

Who knew a DMA degree would keep you busy?

Not just the degree itself, though I have a pretty hectic class schedule this semester:

-Faure art song literature
-Vocal pedagogy
-Faust through literature and music (this one's incredible for a lit nerd like me!)
-3rd year German, second semester

Then add into the mix the fact that I'm a grown-up now, and unlike undergraduate times, I actually have to work and pay rent and bills and taxes. You know, be a contributing member of society. I also have to build a work resume that reflects teaching abilities, so I can hopefully secure the job requiring the DMA degree. To accomplish this, I have the following 4 jobs:

-14 hour graduate assistantship (which thankfully covers tuition and most health care!)
-13 students, aged 9-adult, both privately and through 2 schools.
-soloist/soprano section leader at a church.
-soprano member of the Vocal Arts Ensemble, which has between 3 and 5 concerts per season. (Including one tonight!!! Very excited).

And, finally, the daunting task of keeping a performance career's momentum up despite the obstacles of school and jobs. Luckily, I'm beginning to find work as a soloist around the city. I've been asked to perform in several student's recitals this semester, as well as roles in local productions. And I MAY have some commercial work in my future....we'll see.

Basically, this is why I hardly blog anymore. Can you blame me?

Monday, November 19, 2012

In the Zone

I sang my first DMA recital last night! One down, two to go.

Performing a solo recital is very different from either a chamber recital or a show. No one can share the responsibility of being on stage with you, and it's less collaborative and more internal. The process itself is anything but solitary. I had much help, support and critique from my teacher, coaches and accompanist. But in the end, it's just you singing up there.

If anything taps into your fight-or-flight response, it's the first number of a recital. Starting is always the most difficult for me. If I sing "poorly" then I will continue to stress about what is coming up next. But if I do well (as, thankfully, I did last night), then performing begins to feel like a flow state activity. Many athletes talk about playing "in the zone" when they're doing well. It's the same for musicians. When words and notes are all memorized and you know how everything feels, it's possible to let go of your stream of thoughts and just be the characters of the songs. It was an amazing experience!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Blog Post? No Way

I realize there has been gross negligence of this blog lately. This morning I woke up early, so there is time for a post!

It's almost my birthday, and I will ease out of my mid-mid-twenties and into my late-mid-twenties. I'm trying to do so gracefully, and with 9 auditions lined up in the next month, grace would be nice!

Doctoral work is coming along. I'm finding my theory and advanced German courses to be the toughest, but manageable. Next semester I'm taking Vocal Pedagogy, and will hopefully gain more insight into the vocal mechanism, which should improve my teaching even further.

My first doctoral recital is coming up in a week! I'll be singing works of Debussy, Rossini, Rorem and Stinson. I'm so happy to be able to present my husband's work on stage. I should probably get back to writing program notes instead of this blog post.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Not Quite Done With You

I realize I have sorely neglected my blog for awhile, but that's what happens when you're a full-time DMA student who is also working 30 hours per week. Even though I'm no longer doing an audition every week (decided to give myself a break and only take about 10 this season), I feel like I'm singing more than I ever have before. Between lessons, coachings, church gig, VAE, and 3 upcoming concerts for the Constella Festival ...
(check it out here:

 I am required to sing EVERY day, whether I feel like I'm at 80% vocally or 100. It's brought up my confidence and overall quality of performing. I'm not dreading audition season as much as I normally do, and am determined to enjoy Fall. Here's a plug for some upcoming gigs:

9/30: concert at CCM with VAE celebrating the life of late composer Elmer Thomas.

10/7: concert at Memorial Hall with VAE, 3pm

10/7: Lori Laitman's 6 Poems of Marichiku at the Northside Tavern in Cincinnati, 7pm

10/9: Performance of Nico Muhley's "The Adulteress" (originally premiered by Jessica Rivera, one of my favorite sopranos!) 7:30pm, NKU Digitorium, NKU, Hebron, KY

and a little ways down the road:

11/18: My first DMA recital! Works of Debussy, Stinson, and Rorem. 6:30pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati.

Now back to cranking out these wedding thank-you notes.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Month Flown By

In 3 weeks and 1 day, I will be married! With all of the wedding madness, I haven't had time to practice or prepare much. However, 5 days after I get married, I will have to go and sing for my CCM opera audition. So I'm going to go and pick up a score or two this weekend. Along with finishing my last week of teaching, making cake toppers, crafting the name tags, figuring out flowers, trying to get in shape....I could go on but it's 10am and I'm already exhausted. The good kind, though.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I should probably write at least one post this month

You know how it is...when you have interesting things to blog about, you are far too busy to write. Whenever I don't post in here for awhile it means I have zero down time due to work. This time, it's not so much singing work as: -wedding planning, which is really coming along. It's going to be beautiful, and filled with music (some of it original compositions by my ridiculously talented fiancee). -MOVING. we just switched to a slightly better apartment, and have been transporting one tiny carload after another to make the transition. -Teaching. 26 students at the moment, all of them wonderful. I'm going to be sad when I downsize my roster at the beginning of the school year, but am confident with my replacement choices. -Learning. I'm hoping to get my first DMA recital done in the first semester, so I'm cramming some Rorem, Debussy, and Rossini in my head this summer. Not to mention preparing for those pesky pre-tests in history and theory. Oy. So that's it right now. I think it's enough. I'm also covering Cincinnati Opera's season for David's Voice again, so much of my writing energy goes there. Hopefully once that's done I'll get back on top of this thing. Happy summer, everyone.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Backstage at the Piazza

I'm sitting here, just having finished Act I with a nice break before I'm on stage again. FINALLY a moment to write! Here are some bullet pointed updates: -I will be attending CCM in the fall, working towards my Doctorate of Musical Arts! I'm having a weird sort of reverse senior-itis these days, itching to go BACK to school, but still dealing with responsibilities of my current job(s). Everything worked out well and the choice of CCM became clear. I'm so happy to be able to stay with my teacher and to have secured an assistantship to finance my education. -Wedding plans are coming along well. One of the highlights has been choosing our ceremony music with Jon! It must be similar to a master chef planning their wedding menu. We had an enormous selection of music to choose from, not only from the classical but also Jewish genres. I am so excited to share the music we love and appreciate every day with our relatives an friends. -I have an upcoming performance of Die Schaspieldirektor (once again singing Mme. Herz) on June 9 and 10. Info for that show can be found here: After that show, I'm planning on putting together my first DMA recital, getting married, moving, and continuing to teach. Oy, it never ends. I love it.