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Archive for the ‘Concerts’ Category

Concordia Choir is coming to town!!!!

Posted by thesinger on March 3, 2008

Well, the nearby town of Wichita, KS, that is. Oh, and a good friend called me up with lots of juicy tidbits about the program. (He had attended a concert on this same tour somewhere in the “east.”) Oh, I am getting SO pumped!!!! And oh, so, JUMPY!!!! wow, I might not be able to get as much school done tomorrow as would be good just because I’m so, entirely, well, so entirely taken up with this idea. And, oh, SO EXCITED!

In other news, Messiah drags on. Neal continues to abuse the sopranos and they continue to give him only a small portion of their abilities. I am completely confident that there is a correlation between those two facts.

Chorus is moving along at a nice easy pace. Shane is doing well, even if directing isn’t his first love. Note accuracy will come much faster for the tenors this year because they are far more confident than last year. My goal for the tenors is to lead them to sing with precision and agility. They are progressing well.

As of yet, I enjoy the process of writing much more than “speechifying”. I am a lover of precision in my studies and feel that my meager abilities as a speech-maker don’t lend themselves well to precision. For myself, speechifying feels as though a farmer were attempting brain surgery on some poor victim, ending with a bloody mess of “brain” on the floor; a painful metaphor, I know, but very illustrative. Not enough precision, not enough precision. . .

Um. um. what should I say next? Oh, that was close. I’m actually not standing in front of people wondering what to say. . . It’s as though, um, I have stress with um, placing my thoughts, um, in a logical, well, how would you say it? Order? And then, um, really wondering just, like, how it’s going to, um, come out. . . Yes, I’m, um, in speech class right now. And um, I really think I should quit using um, “um”, quite so um, much. I, like, um, really struggle with filler words, like, um, well, like, um.

thesinger

Posted in Concerts, Friends, Just because I can, Music, Reno County Choral, Speech, Stress | 2 Comments »

FUN FUN FUN

Posted by thesinger on February 18, 2008

The Anonymous Somebodies sang at my brother Floyd’s reception here in KS today. It was fun to get together with my singing homies and jam-out/lead-in-worship again. We got together on Saturday night to practice the three songs (Shout to the Lord, Sounding Joy, and Peter Lutkin’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You.) that Florcas wanted us to sing.

Sounding Joy was a new one for us before Saturday night, but we gleefully tackled it, and “mastered it” with approx. 1.5 hours of practice. (“Mastered it” in this case means that we could sing through the entire song w/out messing up drastically, and that we could have lots of fun doing it.) In an ideal situation, we would have approx. a month of regular practices to fine-tune/clean-up some loose ends in the song, but we didn’t, so we made the best of it.

Shout to the Lord was perhaps an average performance; fun, but not that amazing.

Lutkin’s The Lord Bless You and Keep You was perhaps our technically best performance as well as our most fun performance of that song. I.e. GOOD TIMES!

The acoustics were INCREDIBLE. We were standing just inside the sanctuary in the back with one mike. The best part was that we could actually hear ourselves come over the PA system. I thought that maybe if we were hearing ourselves the sound man had turned us up too high. But nope, my bro Loyal, may he rest in pieces, said that it was amped just about right. I heard another question from an aunt of mine that went like this, “Did you use a mike?” GOOD TIMES!

Ok, so enough ramblings about a rockin’ “concert”.

thesinger

ps. Heidi is leaving for the fair land of Hillcrest for 6 months. 😦 Sadness. Weeping. Gnashing of teeth. All will be fine in the end. . . A six month break won’t hurt us. . . (maybe)

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Friends, Good times, Music, uber | Leave a Comment »

Concert Wrap-Up

Posted by thesinger on December 7, 2007

It’s a cold and relaxing morning here at the LaVerne Miller residence. I’m sitting on couch with Dad’s laptop and I’m hacking away at it furiously so I can post before it’s time to go to choir.

The concert on Wednesday night went well in some areas, and perhaps not so well in others. God’s part of the evening (the worship, the praying, the working in the peoples hearts) went very well. I had the succinct feeling during the course of the evening that God was using our music to touch and inspire lives. PRAISE HIM!!

If that were all I had to say about the concert that would be just great. But no, I must go on to say that the tension of performing in front of a big crowd had our voices stressed out, dried out, and laid out in the first half. Let me explain why. First, when doing small group singing, (read quartet) than the entire concert is similar to one big long solo. You have no fellow members of your voice-part to lean on for support. Second, everybody has to be singing exactly their part, no more and no less, all the time. This requires extremely intense concentration that can lead to tension, quickly!! An example of when one member failed to concentrate very well occurred during a renaissance piece by Palestrina entitled Sicut Cervus. It has extremely polyphonic musical lines, so when one member fails to get an entrance, or misses several notes during the piece, everybody suffers. Near the end, somehow, I don’t know how, I spaced out. When I came back to the earth, I discovered I had missed a succession of several critical notes and left my fellow members in the metaphorical smoke of my burnout. Yes, it really struggled. Yes, we did somehow manage to get back on track for the ending. Yes, the ending was very successful. Yes, we were working so hard that we were sweating like madmen.

We had a long break in the middle of the concert. We got Darrel (5th and 6th Grade teacher at PCGS) to do a children’s story as our inspirational talk of the evening, and we had Lyle lead three congregational songs. This gave us about twenty minute break to regroup, settle down, and get our act together.

The second half went like a piece of cake compared to the first half. We had purposely planned it so that our intense and more meaningful stuff would be in the first half with the lighter/easier-to-listen-to stuff would be in the last half. So, because of the lighter material and the long break between standings, the last half went very well musically. Something we did differently than normal was have announcements, last prayer, and then sang the hyper praise song, Shout to the Lord. We sang it while everybody was still standing and then dismissed the people directly afterwards. I think it was a smashing hit!!

Over all, I feel ok with how it went. The perfectionist in me says, “It could have been a LOT better.” The worship leader in me says, “Thanks God. You came through great!!! You showed your great power again!!”

With these thoughts in mind, may you have Peace in the Valley,

thesinger

ps, Steamboat is reporting 14″ of fresh in the last 48 hr. Praise da Lord!!!!

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Friends, God, Good times, Life, Music, Thoughts, uber | 7 Comments »

Much pumpedness.

Posted by thesinger on December 4, 2007

Yeah, it’s less than a week until we go snowboarding. I’m really getting very pumped about this. Another praise item is that three of the four concerts are over and passed and gone and they (for the most part) went very well. The AS concert at Partridge Community Church turned out to be a full blown concert; not some live entertainment thingamabob. Therefore, it was very obvious that we had only practiced 1.5 times before the concert. So, disregarding the minor goofs and the small inconsistencies, it was a fun concert to give.

Two things made the evening more positive than normal. One, it is an old church that was built before the era of sound systems and therefore was built with acoustics in mind. That part of the evening was just GREAT. Second, we had a great audience that was absolutely quiet. (It helped that no bratty kids were screaming, or crying, etc., etc.) Also, from the feedback (and the applause) we received, it was evident that they really liked it and that it meant more to them than just a good show would have.

So, there you have it. Pumped and excited about going boarding, and getting stoked about giving a God-honoring program tomorrow night. (At Center Amish Mennonite Church, Wednesday, December 5, at 7:45 PM. See you there!!)

thesinger

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Good times, Music, uber | 4 Comments »

Two down, two to go.

Posted by thesinger on December 1, 2007

After one Nine Lessons concert, and one AS concert, my voice is in good, but tired, condition. This is a praise item, because rest can make all the difference for a tired voice. Therefore, Laters!!

thesinger

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Reno County Choral, Tired | 1 Comment »

Concerts

Posted by thesinger on November 29, 2007

Yup, thesinger is gearing up to help perform 4 concerts in the next week. Two of them will be the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and two of them will be with the Anonymous Somebodies. I am excited, yet the thought tires me. “With enough faith I can do anything” was and will be my motto for the next week. I need God’s strength and good health to be able to survive and enjoy the pressures of 4 concerts. 🙂

On the bright side of things, the Nine Lessons concert will be tops in terms of tone, sheer volume, and sound quality. It is a concert that you will not want to miss if possible. (Hutchinson, KS at the intersection of Poplar and Fifth. 8:00 PM on Friday, Nov. 29; 3:00 PM on Sunday, Dec. 2.)

The Anonymous Somebodies Concert that will be open to the public will be on Wed., Dec. 5 at Center Amish Church at 7:45 PM. Pray that it will be an energizing and worshipful experience. One big fear I have as a public performer/worship leader is that I will fail to communicate the message of Jesus. What tends to happen to me is that I am so concerned about perfection in music that “I” tend to be the message that is communicated. Pray that God would work in our hearts so that we would only be vessels, and not pretend to be the goodies inside the vessel.

thesinger

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Busy, Concerts, Good times, Life, Me, Reno County Choral, uber | 5 Comments »

Reno County Choral

Posted by thesinger on November 12, 2007

I just got home from a RCS Nine Lessons and Carols rehearsal which went better than it ever has before. One could comment here that it might be the fault of our “incredible” (at least in his own eyes) director that we have been progressing so slowly. I don’t know.

We actually had some good choral sound happening, at least part of the evening. We actually got 92.6% of our music (for a change), and we had fun perhaps 12% of the evening (which is a considerable amount more than average 😦 ). So, yes, it is going to come together. Yes, it will be sortof fun to perform, and yes, all of my readers should come listen to the concert.

Should I say any more derogatory remarks about our conductor? No, let’s end on a positive note by saying that his gestures are very controlled, sophisticated, and easy to follow. While I may not appreciate some other things about him, I do appreciate his gestures.

thesinger

Posted in Concerts, Music, Reno County Choral | 5 Comments »

Anonymous Somebodies

Posted by thesinger on October 20, 2007

Well, we just finished giving 1.5 concerts. The first one was at Mennonite Manor, a local nursing home, and the second was at the Partridge Fest. (Partridge, KS is the town closest to us with an approximate population of 400)

The Menno Manor concert had its moments of inspiration, and it’s moments of pain. For instance, a lot of the songs really clicked with the residents, but the pain came when a dear old lady in the front row gave us multiple demonstrations on the subject, “How to Belch in the Middle of a Worship Service.” The last demonstration was synchronized with a break between songs which made for a very weak start, and an eventual collapse of our composures, the music, etc., etc. On the second try, we did actually manage to start and end the song successfully. (Looking at the ceiling and the floor was a key to our success.)

The Partridge Fest concert was very much different. We gave a twenty minute concert on a “stage” that was actually a decorated hay-rack wagon with one mike. Because it was windy, we had STRESS hearing each other, not to mention that the audience could not hear us very well. PAIN. Ah vell, at least we could have fun doing it and hopefully we lent to the festive atmosphere. Another good thing that came out of the concert is that Mr. Pastor from the Partridge Community Church invited us to provide some live entertainment for a Christmas banquet that his church is putting on. GOOD TIMES!

Peace and love to all!!!

thesinger

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Good times, Music | 2 Comments »

Anonymous Somebodies

Posted by thesinger on April 30, 2007

Yeah, it actually happened. We had a rehearsal at my house this evening. And, (not very surprisingly) it was one very fun rehearsal!! I am fairly tired from the work it took, but am very excited because this good first rehearsal signifies more good things to come. 🙂

We’re singing some moderately tough stuff, with probably our hardest song being one of Handel’s pieces. I like!

Here are three reasons why I like to sing with the A. S. that I am copying from last years post about the A. S.

1. We have great music to sing. On the inside of that great music is a great message.

2. We have good singers with us. On top of that, I really enjoy hanging with them; Good Kids!

3. We have a commitment to quality. We want the best and will not rest until we have raised the bar, one notch higher.

So, there you have it! That is why I like to sing with this group. Good times!! Good times!!

thesinger

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Friends, Life, Music | 5 Comments »

I JUST WANT EVERYBODY TO KNOW THAT. . .

Posted by thesinger on April 19, 2007

my base curriculum, which is Sonlight, is totally done for all of my four years of high school!!!!!!!!!!! I am Like SO STOKED about that. I just want to tell the whole world!! I am just about flying off the handle here!! I can almost not control my hyperness!! I have many excited feelings!! I am just going nuts!!! For you PCHS’ers, it’s the equivalent of having all my paces done. It’s almost flabbergasting!!

Ok, so, you might be asking the valid question, “What will you be doing in your last year of high school?” (For those of you who don’t know, I am finishing up my 11th year of school.) The answer is not completely and totally revealed to me at this point. One thing I do know is that I will be taking “Speech” at PCHS next year, as well as continuing my studies in music in some form or another. Dad is in favor of letting my senior year be one of exploration, and one more geared towards a specific direction in life instead of a just a base curriculum.

Another good thing that happened to me (and several others) recently is the re-startup of the Anonymous Somebodies. The members for our next concert are Shane Iwashige, Bass; Myself, Tenor; Heidi Kuepfer, Soprano; and Crystal Yoder, Alto. This year should be an exciting one. We are preparing much new and some rather difficult music. As is the norm, it will be four-part, choral, a capella music–my favorite!! We are anticipating a performance at Common Ground Coffee Shop in August sometime. Come and hear us! It’ll be a great concert!!

I must run. I am extremely stoked!

Peace and Grace,

thesinger

Posted in Anonymous Somebodies, Concerts, Family, Friends, Life, Me, Party, School, Work | 8 Comments »