I haven’t written a blog post here in almost two years. Shame on me. It’s not as if I’ve had no news…
As mentioned in the previous, ancient, blog post, I did go to the Carmel Bach Festival to sing Jesus in the St. Matthew Passion. I had been an Adams Fellow there in 1995, so Carmel has carried a special place in my heart, both for its fabulous location and for the amazing group of people who gather there each summer.
One of the special things about the Carmel Bach Festival is that they provide housing not only for the artists, but for their families as well. It’s been a point of pride for them as long as I’ve been involved. In my early days with the festival, I didn’t have a family to bring, and in 2010, they had obligations at home that meant they couldn’t join me.
However, I returned last summer to sing Jesus in the St. John Passion, and was able to bring my family along. We spent several weeks driving to California, camping along the way and exploring the country. I then taught a week long workshop for the San Francisco Early Music Society in Sonoma before heading down to Carmel for the festival. We spent several weeks heading back, as well, this time via a more northerly route, with many adventures on the way.
We also decided to start homeschooling our children this year, in part so that they could travel with me on some of my gigs. They came down to Florida with me in November for my performances with the Master Chorale of South Florida and the Miami Symphony, and came to Paris with me when I went out to sing at the Opera Royale in Versailles with Opera Lafayette. (My older daughter also joined me for our recording sessions and the Lincoln Center performance.)
I’m still teaching at James Madison University, though I’ve branched out a bit. I not only teach voice lessons there to both music majors and musical theater majors, I also started teaching “Aural Skills,” more commonly known as “Ear Training.” It inspired me to write a number of songs which have become rather popular on YouTube. Popular enough that one audience member approached me at intermission at a recent concert, not to congratulate me on my performance, but to thank me for my videos!
Last week at this time, I was singing Bach’s Cantata 8 with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem for a packed crowd. It was a thrilling experience to sing such wonderful music for such an enthusiastic group of people. I was able to sandwich in a performance with the same group last May, as Pilate in the St. John Passion, which we also recorded. (It was quite an adventure finishing the recording at 7pm, driving to DC, getting about four hours of sleep, and then getting on a plane for Honolulu, arriving just in time for a short meal and a B Minor Mass rehearsal!)
I will have several recordings coming out in the next year. I hope I remember to tell you about them!