Well, it’s been a really busy year and can’t believe that 2013 is almost here!
2012 began with singing in and managing the chorus for and being the soprano soloist in Hugo Distler’s Nürnberger Grosses Gloria for Bach for Sem, a fundraiser for the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Singing with a dedicated group of volunteers and putting together a challenging program in less than a week is always a thrill to be a part of every January. The streak of Susan sings/Bulls win continued as I sang the national anthem later on that month.
In February, my good friend and tenor Mark Craig and I performed a recital of music inspired by love at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Deerfield. Jim Collins accompanied us and we were thrilled to have such a large receptive audience on a cold Sunday afternoon!
March brought time for vacation along with time to prepare for a multitude of spring singing gigs. In April, Hoss Brock and I sang a short recital for the Grant Park Music Festival board in the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, featuring music by Donizetti, Puccini, Gounod and from Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls. Being down on the stage is always thrilling as I’m used to being in the choral risers during the summer season! The chorus of Music of the Baroque was especially busy in the spring with performances of Handel’s “L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, ed il Moderato” as well as Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
May and June brought three solo Sunday performances – a concert of bel canto repertoire at Second Presbyterian Church, Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott with St. Luke Church’s Bach Cantata Series, and a return to the Princeton Community Band to sing a rarely heard Sousa waltz (who knew) called I’ve made my plans for the Summer. The summer season of Grant Park was exciting as always, with two commissioned pieces written for the Chorus’ 50th anniversary, rarely heard works such as Dvorak’s The Spectre’s Bride and the release of the Chorus’ first CD in which I’m featured as a soloist.
Summer and early fall kept me busy with weddings and High Holy Days at Congregation Hakafa as well as the Chicago premiere of Erik Satie’s Socrate with Tiny Mahler Orchestra. It’s a challenging work of three pieces totaling more than thirty minutes of wandering melodies – but a thrill to work with this talented group of musicians on such an interesting project.
The last two months of this year were filled with a wide variety of music and locations – singing Nedda in Pagliacci with Opera Delaware along with another amazing cast of wonderful singers and fantastic friends; singing the national anthem again for the Bulls; returning to Elmhurst Choral Union for their Messiah; and two debuts – a concert in my hometown of Princeton, Illinois with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Home for the Holidays concert with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. All this interspersed with chorus rehearsals at Lyric Opera of Chicago for Die Meistersinger and Christmas services at St Gregory’s made for a very busy November and December.
2012 – a year to remember for beautiful music, great experiences and, most of all, new and old friends of the arts! Looking forward to whatever 2013 brings!