What a pleasure it was to work with the NYSCAME 11-12 Senior High All-County Chorus in November. Not only was this a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with a group of incredibly talented students, but with many old friends from the Crane School of Music as well. But we’ll get to that in a moment - first the program.

Handel - Zadok the Priest
Attaignant - Tourdion
Verdi - Va Pensiero
Szymko - The Peace of Wild Things
Ramsey - Luminescence
Runestad - Nyon, Nyon

To the students: I thought you sang the Handel very well - and with elegance and proper style. The opening was just glorious! Next time I hope you do it with organ or full orchestra - it really is something special. Tourdion was very fun and I really feel like you internalized the dance rhythms. The Verdi was the biggest surprise to me… could you hear people humming along in the audience? I though you handled the Italian particularly well (good dentalized [t]s!) and you sang beautiful long phrases. My thanks for your serious treatment of the Symko and Ramsey pieces - if you couldn’t tell it was a tough couple of days for me with a horrific shooting at my alma mater, and you sang those pieces with intent and passion. My sincerent thanks! The Runestad was a blast - I was afraid the risers were going to come down on our foot stomps! Remember some of the things we talked about (vowel/tuning; if it hurts; music of dead guys; emotional vs. physical capitol) and I hope to see each of you again! For those of you who are auditioning for Vanderbilt, be sure to get your pre-screening video in soon, and do email me to let me know whcih weekend you'll be coming. Consider the weekend of February 6 - when we’ll be having our Choral Prism concert. To one particular student - and you know who you are - I hope my audition for you went well!

Finally, to my Crane friends who I haven’t seen in fifteen years (!) or more, what a pleasure it was to see you, meet your incredible students, and see the fantastic work you’re doing with them. I hope to bring the Vanderbilt Chorale for a tour to the area in the next couple of years, and I would love to visit you and your students again. To Dennis Creighton, Brian Hough, Eric Blatt, Cathy Lubrano, Brian Reich, Ryan Flatt, Kelly Beery Gatto, Christine Paroz Creighton, Mark Hegreness, and Shoshana Hershkowitz - thanks from the bottom of my heart. Seeing you brought back so many great memories, and it brought out the best in me - that’s for certain. 

© Tucker Biddlecombe 2016