Elm Ensemble - Evensong April 2019

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I love singing with the Elm Ensemble.

One of the best parts of singing with the Elm Ensemble is raising money for good causes, which is a part of the Evensongs I've participated in. As part of the April 2019 Evensong a freewill collection was taken for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter in Washtenaw County, where the Elm Ensemble is based.

The collection was quite awesome that day.

Evensong: Sacred Harp 2018

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Last Fall I joined up with the Elm Ensemble in Dexter, Michigan for a fantastic weekend of music-making. (There may have been excellent food & drink involved, but that's just between you and me. Bacon-fried Brussels sprouts, that's all I'm saying.)

The Elm Ensemble has published the recordings we made as a playlist on YouTube, which is fabulous and fantastic!

I'd like to draw your attention to this recording of Mary to Her Savior's Tomb, Sacred Harp 451, which was at the time the first recording appeared on YouTube, from what the co-director Josh Messner could see. Sally was really sick during this Evensong, and she sang like a real trooper in this duet! It is actually a duet for the entire piece, however I sang it alone to save her voice.

There's more to come re: Elm Ensemble 2019 and the 2019-2020 season as well. (Hint, hint.)

 

Check out the photos of Evensong in Dexter, MI last weekend

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Our Easter Evensong in Dexter, Michigan (just west of Ann Arbor) was a delight! It was a weekend of singing, community and connecting people with music. This Evensong service also functioned as a fundraiser for a club at this church, it's called the Open Hearts Club; this club it will provide a safe, fun, and inclusive drop-in space for area youth.

I think we can all get behind that. ♥

Michigan-dwellers! Come to Dexter next weekend for Evensong

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Next weekend I'll be in Dexter, Michigan to sing with the Elm Ensemble. We'll be singing in an Evensong service on Sunday, April 29th at 4:30 p.m. It will be a small choir of wonderful singers and we'll be singing Early Americana pieces from the Southern Harmony. This is also known as shape-note singing and, believe it or not, I'd never heard of it until I moved back to the US in 2008.

 

Click here to see the calendar event.

 

Should I have named this "lower peninsula dwellers" instead? ;)

What's it like to be a singer for the German National Anthem?

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The German Flag: schwarz, rot, goldWhen the lady sang another country's national anthem at the olympics and just sang "la la la," I thought that was really silly. A national anthem represents a country, just as the sports teams who are playing the game represent the country. And for an official meeting between countries that calls for music, it can set people at ease and give them a topic of conversation. Music bridges a lot between nations.

A couple of years ago I was asked to sing the German Nationalhymne (national anthem), known as Das Lied der Deutschen (The Song of the Germans) for Germany's Day of Unity celebrations (October 3rd) in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was an honor and I was floored. I enjoyed memorizing the words because they are tremendous.

(Would you believe I lived in Germany for five years without having learned the words?! More to that after the text.)

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland.

Danach lasst uns alle streben, brüderlich mit Herz und Hand.

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit sind des Glückes Unterpfand:

Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes, blühe, deutsches Vaterland!

 

Unity and justice and freedom for the German fatherland.

Let's all strive for that, brotherly with heart and hand.

Unity and justice and freedom are the pledge of happiness:

Blossom in the light of this joy, blossom, German Fatherland!

Translation (C) Nicole Warner, LLC 2017 All rights reserved.

 

You might have noticed that the German version rhymes, which is quite nice. And the ideas of unity, justice and freedom are qualities that are present in Germany's culture today.

The Neighbor and the Techno

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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...