- You get to see not just one but TWO directors wave arms! And stomp feet – in a good way. [Read more...]
In which Karen Akers, Alto, President of the VCS Board, and person of acute and hilarious wit, holds forth on opera as we head into the last two weeks of intensive rehearsal for Opera For The People. (Early bird tickets still on sale, available until Monday, May 6, 2013.)
Swallow all food and drink before reading this on your electronic device of choice, you have been warned.
Here’s the deal – a lot of people think they don’t like opera because it’s stuffy. An audience of over-dressed people, withstanding the assault of large men and women singing at them, at decibel levels that can induce deafness. The language is incomprehensible, the choruses never seem to end, and singers wander up and down the stage like a rather unfocused staff meeting. If staff meetings featured singing. And maybe hats with horns on them. And what’s up with the horns?
We’re five weeks out from our joint performance of “Opera For The People” with The Reston Chorale – do you have your tickets yet? They’re available online, and early bird prices end in three weeks!
But here’s the thing – there will be two choirs, and we don’t usually rehearse at the same time. Huh?! Let us explain.
TRC also rehearses Tuesdays. But they began rehearsing for this performance two weeks before us because their calendar’s slightly different. And they rehearse in Reston. We, meanwhile, began rehearsing after “Music of the Storms” and we rehearse in Vienna. And we’ve all practiced the same pieces of music.
So how do we bring it all together? [Read more...]
Just a quick reminder that tonight is our third and final open rehearsal for the season. We are back to normal, and sing at 7:15 pm at Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna.
If you’ve wanted to shake off the vocal cobwebs and see what it’s like to be part of that big wall of sound, this is your last opportunity for the season. We don’t hold open rehearsals again until the next season kicks off in the fall.
If you already know you’d like to sing with us, please check out the membership information on our website to find registration forms. If you’d like to just come by and visit, that’s fine too.
And we’re not kidding about the “wall of sound” – that’s what it feels like when you’re singing with 150 voices! Which is what’ll happen in May when we join forces with The Reston Chorale to present Opera for the People. Early bird tickets are now on sale.
Did you love what you saw last weekend? Come sing with us! We are a non-audition, welcoming, and diverse choir of 80 voices and we’re always happy to add voices.
Our next concert will be Opera For The People. And our next three rehearsals are open. Join us, come check us out, or just visit if you’d like – you are most welcome.
If you already know you want to join, please go here to get a start on registration and membership forms. Don’t worry if you can’t, we’ll figure it out when you get to us.
Come on down! The opera awaits.
Colohan drew dramatic power from his singers, joined by the vocal quartet Words & Music along with cellist Kacy Clopton and pianists Mark Vogel and Virginia Sircy.
But then Ms. Porter, who notes that the Chorale’s selections included modern composers and compositions including Stephen Chatman, ends her review thusly:
The sad fact is that, apart from the scores of major composers such as Bach, Handel, Verdi, and Monteverdi — choral music such as that heard Sunday rarely reaches the general public and major concert halls.
We had to laugh a little at that one. Because in the last three years, under Fearless Leader Jennifer Rodgers Beach’s artistic leadership, and a choir and audience willing to take chances and experiment with the music, VCS has covered a slew of non-traditional music. [Read more...]
The next in our series of “Why I Sing,” this post comes from Connie Berger, alto, and a member of the VCS board. Ms. Berger, who currently homeschool’s her son through his last year of high school, works full-time in retirement plan administration, and is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Accounting at Northern Virginia Community College.
Music has always reached a part of my heart that nothing else can. As a child, music was that thing that I was good at, better than everyone else, that I could take pride in. Playing the piano was my outlet for any strong emotion, from joy to sadness. Playing the alto saxophone in band taught me lessons about setting and achieving goals and about working synergistically with others. [Read more...]
“You’re going to sing about the weather? Really?” It’s a fair question. But think about the question we asked in our last post:
Is there a culture or a place on the planet that doesn’t have music, poetry, art, and expression about the weather?
We humans have sung about the weather since time immemorial. We love to try and capture the feel, the rush, the atmosphere. Sometimes we succeed.*
So, we asked a few of our singers why they joined us. The insta-answer is usually, “Because it makes me happy!” But as it turns out, there’s a lot more to it — it’s not just happiness, it’s community, and friendship, and the adventure of seeing a production come together.
So we put the word out, and started to get interesting posts about why our singers joined VCS, and why they continue to sing with us. We’re going to share these with you through 2013, and we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!
Up first, Suellen Evans, Soprano 2, and already indispensable to helping us make things happen behind the scenes:
I always thought that you were supposed to “start at the beginning” whenever encountering something new, and yet, joining the VCS has opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at my limited thinking.
I’ve enjoyed singing since I was young (many moons ago) and knew that my voice was better in a “collective” than as a “solo”. On my way home from work one day I was wondering how I could find a place to sing that was fun, with a group of people who were supportive. So when I looked up and noticed a banner across Maple Avenue for open auditions with the Vienna Choral Society, I took it as a sign (pun intended) and called the phone number listed. The “meet and greet” was great fun. Seemed like an energetic group of people who were not judgmental…my kind of people. So I signed up!
Then comes the first rehearsal. Music in hand, I walk in, find a seat with the 2nd Sopranos and open to the requested song…and darn if that cute little conductor (what is her name again…oh yeah, Jen) starts us smack dab in the middle of a song. What’s a girl to do? So I follow her lead, and sit back and watch the magic.
Perfection was not ours for the first few weeks. Then all of a sudden Jen’s methods were no longer “madness” but “magic”…we sounded so good!!!
I had the absolute time of my life singing A-Train, Route 66, Thriller and our fabulous finale, YMCA. I am a believer in the “Jen School of Singing.” Keep it fun, fresh. Start in the middle and watch the magic happen.
Thanks for the sign, for me to sing.
Second Soprano with VCS
So, why do you sing? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to tell us in 300 – 500 words. We’d love to hear from you!
Okay so that’s one exclamation point too many for a blog post, but can you blame us?! It’s been an eventful few weeks, and we’ve been practicing. But we’re really in the mood now what with the mercury suddenly dipping. And this wind advisory!
Tell you what, sit out the wind — come see us. We’ll keep you warm, entertained, and there will be treats after. For as Lisa Callender Robinson (Soprano II, past president, person who makes sure we have important stuff together, and one of those deceptively hilarious “quiet” people) put it:
Our concert today is brought to you by the letter C: carols, cookies, and cocoa! So… Come!
Indeed. Please do come! We sing today, Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm, at Vienna Baptist Church (541 Marshall Road SW, Vienna VA 22180).
If you missed tickets online, fear not, we’ll have them at the door. (Seniors/students – $15, Adults – $20, Families – $35.)
And now, we hope you’ll excuse us while we get on the dress B&Bs (blacks and blues), and get ready to “Welcome Yule!”