Year in Review
Hard to believe that 2011 is almost at an end! In January, I sang the National Anthem for the Chicago Bulls which I’m hoping I’ll get to repeat in the next year now that there’s an NBA season! February gave me one of the most amazing musical experiences of the year – performing with eighth blackbird, Third Coast Percussion and friends (including fellow Chicago singers Amy Conn, Nina Heebink and Kirsten Hedegaard) in Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Two performances in the same evening of a piece that is close to an hour without stopping was a daunting, but thrilling time! I was also privileged to hear auditions for Chicago High School for the Arts and adjudicated for Hauser Junior High School’s voice competition – exciting to hear what future generations of singers are doing now!
In March, I sang in Opera Delaware’s Studio Series Concert Mainly Mozart, where I was featured in scenes from Mozart operas (Die Zauberflöte, Il re pastore, Così fan tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro) as well as “Sorgi, o padre” from Bellini’s Bianca e Fernando. After a short vacation, I returned to Chicago and was the soprano soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Elmhurst Choral Union and performed in Trinity Episcopal Church’s Choral Evensong in Highland Park, Illinois (along with Pamela Williams, Hoss Brock and Samuel Ramey).
May brought an opportunity to perform again with Tiny Mahler Orchestra in Legacy by Ben Johnston and Leon Shernoff’s The End of Something. Very different than the Ravel Chansons madécasses that I sang the previous year!
June means summer and summer in Chicago means great outdoor music with Grant Park Music Festival! Along with my regular choral work with the group, the Grant Park Chorus recorded its first a cappella album, on which I’m featured in Abbie Betinis’ Toward Sunshine, Toward Freedom. I’m looking forward to its release next summer!
I also got to return to my hometown of Princeton, Illinois and sing Gershwin’s “But not for me” with the Princeton Community Band – it was wonderful to get to sing for people who’ve known me practically since birth! At the Music of the Baroque Gala, Kimberly McCord and I sang the “Laudamus te” from Vivaldi’s Gloria – a great way to end a season which featured terrific performances, including The Messiah a few months prior.
In August, the Music for 18 Musicians group reunited for Steve Reich’s 75th Birthday Celebration Concert in Millenium Park – an awesome venue for a piece of music that crosses boundaries. After a busy summer, my focus turned to Pamina in Die Zauberflöte which I performed with Opera Delaware in October and November. As my first major role with a company this size, I was lucky to have amazing colleagues to play off of and the production won rave reviews from critics and audiences alike!
December is always a busy time in the life of a singer and this one was no exception. I was a soloist in “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland” and “Remember, O thou man” in Music of the Baroque’s Holiday Brass and Choral concerts (5 concerts in 4 days at 3 venues!) and in First Congregational Church of LaGrange’s Fiesta de la Posada. A wide variety of music between Gabrieli and Brubeck!
As this year comes to a close, I look forward to the coming year that is budding with fresh opportunities, reuniting with colleagues and meeting new friends of the arts. It often seems that the calendar is rather empty, but in looking at this past year, I’m sure that it will be filling up quickly. Check back soon to see what awaits in 2012!