Education, Education, Education
12 April, 2013
Today’s blog is by a rather bleary-eyed Eleanor…
“One of my favourite things about being a member of Stile Antico is the way in which it never stops providing new challenges. Over the years, we’ve all had to perfect many skills other than singing, be they connected with musical programming, finance and business strategy, the booking of flights and hotels, or, of course, blogging! As one of the few singers not to have studied music at university, it’s been a real education for me to see how the more scholarly members of the group analyse the pieces we sing, and how they approach the more technical aspects of giving leads and improving ensemble and tuning. But I’ve also gained an insight into many different areas of the music business through taking on tasks relating to publicity and logistics, and I now make good use of my accountancy training by keeping the group’s finances in order.
“For me the biggest, but also the most exciting, challenge is our education work. We are all trained to sing, but in this sort of work we need to rise to the challenge of speaking, coaching, and even, on occasion, conducting, all the while having the flexibility to work with audiences of varying levels of both academic and practical ability. Today we gave a kind of ‘musical lecture’ at the Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University. It was a great opportunity to share with people what it is that we love about the music we sing, and particularly apt to be hosted by The Rose Ensemble, which, like us, is committed to sharing the delights of Renaissance music with as wide an audience as possible.
“The format of this talk was a new one for us, but one which we now hope we’ll get the chance to repeat. The speaking was interspersed with musical examples which illustrated the points being made. Luckily we have two very confident presenters, Matthew and Andrew, who took us through the most interesting aspects of our Passion & Resurrection programme. We girls are a little shyer, so in order to do my bit for gender equality I volunteered to kick things off with a brief introduction to the group. I say brief, but I think it was still the longest I’ve ever spoken for without interruption! Our audience was small but very select, having braved the persistent snowfall to come and hear us, and they gave us a very friendly Minnesotan welcome.
“The rest of the day passed quickly, with a rehearsal in the beautiful Basilica of Saint Mary, a pre-concert reception with The Rose Ensemble and some of its supporters, and, of course, the concert itself. A fairly exhausting day, and we have to travel fifteen hundred miles before giving our next performance in the wonderful Chan Centre, Vancouver tomorrow, so it’s now most definitely time for an early night!”