LISTEN: "Stabat mater" with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

on . Posted in News

At long last, now you can listen to the recording of the rest of the concert I sang with the fantastic soprano Hannah Lu and conductor Delta David Gier with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra last season. The mp3s are now up in the Media Room and there are a LOT of recordings to listen to: I posted eight of the total 12 movements.

As I mentioned in my previous post where I linked to the recording of the Bach cantata I sang, this was a fantastic experience and I'm so proud and happy to share this music with you. The SDSO was very generous and provided the recordings, so be sure to visit their site and see the other fantastic musical work they do season after season. It might be a drive from where you are to Sioux Falls, however it's worth the trip and the change of scenery to experience what they do. Aaaand of course, to grab some delicious and nutritious food at Sanaa's.

Food and music...they go so well together.

Click here to listen to the Pergolesi Stabat Mater!

 

How to Recover from Financial Abuse - From Gigs to Partners

on . Posted in Inspiration

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, something near & dear to my heart. Financial abuse is one indicator of an abusive relationship and this can be found anywhere there are people. Thus we become more aware of it, and we act in new & different ways to recover from it and prevent it in the future.How to recoverfromfinancialabuse

From the organization that doesn't pay on time to the low-balling of honorariums, you've surely seen it all. So have I. I've been paid late, had to request fees actually be paid, been offered insultingly low fees, and have had to chase payments down after work was completed.

In romantic relationships, or even platonic relationships, it's not always our personal money stories that trip us up, but sometimes other people who trip us up (financially) on purpose. It's the roommate who doesn't pay rent on time, the friend who never foots the bill when you take turns paying, the partner or spouse who unfairly distributes the bills, the soon-to-be-ex-spouse who drags out the divorce, resulting in high attorneys' fees. Been there, done that, still have an awesome credit score. Surviving a relationship like this is one thing, recovering from such a relationship is another.

It took me a very long time to drag myself out of one horrific relationship and it's taken me years to get beyond it financially. Luckily, the whole, ongoing process has lead me to some fantastic money habits and has created skills that have let me help other women learn more about money, too.

A quick note:  some, but not all, of the links in this post are Affiliate links. That means if you buy a book after clicking the link, I receive a small portion of that purchase, for which I thank you. However if you need to, get the book at the library. Saves a ton. ;-)

And another quick note:  I refer to a name with a bleeped-out swear word in it in this post. Just fyi.

1. RUN, do not walk, to a Credit Union.

Like many others, I bank-hopped for a few years. I always ended up at my old Big Bank until I tried to refinance my auto loan…with the same Big Bank. Interest rates had dropped so I asked them to refinance it. Really good credit score, steady payments, I was a good candidate, but they wouldn’t do it.

So I walked. Literally, I went down the street. And I saved over 4% interest on the remainder of my car loan.

The Neighbor and the Techno

on . Posted in Singing

The Neighbor and the Techno

Now that I've moved to Milwaukee it's safe to tell this story.

My former neighbor, whom I'll simply call "Neighbor," was not what you might call the "communicative" type. If I said "hello," he would do a double-take and then say, surprised, "Hello." If I didn't say hello, he would just walk awkwardly past me. And the woman that he lived with, she was even worse. I once saw her outside, turned to her to say hello, and she literally turned and ran in the other direction. (Needless to say I didn't miss her when she moved out. It took me months to notice.)

Neighbor had an affection for techno. Really bad techno. And of all the music types in the world, you'd think that there would be enough of it that he would find some good techno when he'd start playing it at, oh, 7:10 in the morning. But he didn't. And I don't know that he played anything new. He certainly didn't play any GOOD techno, and I wished to all that is good that I could have knocked on his door and made some recommendations...

I also don't know if he perhaps composed it himself. (No comment.)

It was really annoying, but not that bad, if I played my own music at a regular volume I couldn't hear it anymore. No problem! Sometimes you just gotta deal with the neighbors, especially if you're staying for a while.

 

Except when this happens:

It was a Monday and I was practicing for the Les Nuits d'été concert with the Mesabi Symphony. It was lunchtime and I had exactly one hour to practice before I had to get on the road to drive to Northern Minnesota to rehearse and then turn around and drive back.

I warmed up and starting running through the songs, concentrating on the texts which I found hard. I sang through the first song, the second...and then it started.

BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM

No...he didn't...

BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM

Oh, yes he did...

How Shallow is Your Breath? 2 Ways to Breathe More Deeply

on . Posted in News

We live in this time, in these bodies, in this world. And right now it's really hard.2 ways to breathe more deeply

Because we live in a culture of fear and in a culture of violence and sometimes it's really hard to hear your own voice inside your head.

Breathing deeply works against stress, against fear, and helps you connect with your inner voice, your inner wisdom.

If you, like so many of us, feel at a loss right now, start with this, it will clear your mind and give you your starting place.

Here are two ways to breathe more deeply:

 

1. Breathe over time.

Using a slow count, breathe in 1...2...3...and out 1...2...3... Now increase it to 4 by breathing in 1...2...3...4...out 1...2...3...4... Increase the count to 5 and breath 1...2...3...4...5...out 1...2...3...4...5...

Repeat this exercise beginning with a count of 4, then of 5 and finally of 6. How do you feel now?

9 Goofy Things Voice Students Say

on . Posted in Teaching

9 Goofy Things Voice Students SayVoice students say the darndest things! And my students are no exception. Over the past couple of years I've collected their antics and funny comments. Here, without further ado, are 9 goofy things my voice students have said:

You know you're old when...

A: *takes out smart phone and hits the button* Siri, who is “Milli Vanilli”?

Do I have a wobble?!

T: *looks at me wide-eyed.* Nicole, your vibrato…it scares me.

Confessions of a high schooler:

D: (whispered) I like orchestra better than band!

 

Kids say the darndest things:

G: (singing from “The Cherry Tree” original lyrics "They sing of the frozen rivers...") They sing of the frozen livers…

 

Me: (reading from sheet music) Steht der Strauch…

E: What’s that word?

Me: Strauch.

E: *shakes head slowly* No…