Ensemble Musings

No world exploration clip this week. My students and I have been reviewing video of their performances at last week's recital. There were many strong performances. However, I think the ensemble numbers really got the crowd going.

 

Those ensemble performances were a great prelude to what coming up at the studio. Next week is Group Class Week. The kids have been working hard since September on two or three ensemble pieces. Instead of their regular lesson, they will have a combo class. Next week is the first time they will meet as a group to work on their pieces. It's hard to tell who's more excited: my students, Maestro or myself!

 

I've split my students into eight ensembles. We have a varied line-up:

 

  1. "Mission Impossible" (for sax, clarinet, keyboard and cajon)
  2. "Numb" by Linkin Park (for voice, keyboard, cajon and bass)
  3. "Under the Sea" for 4 hands/1 piano, cajon and hand percussion
  4. "Super Mario Overworld Theme" for piano, cajon and hand percussion
  5. "Lady Bird" for piano and cajon
  6. Pia no Jac's version of "Ode to Joy" for piano and cajon
  7. "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga for voice, keyboard, cajon and hand percussion
  8. "The Athletic Rag" from Super Mario for 4 hands/1 piano, cajon and hand percussion
  9. "Bless the Broken Road" for piano, guitar and cajon
  10. "Gerudo Valley Theme" from Zelda for 4 hands/1 piano and cajon
  11. "Floral Heartstring" by Pia no Jac for piano, cajon and hand percussion
  12. "When You Believe" for voice, piano and cajon
  13. "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 for voice, keyboard and cajon
In addition to the studio combos, I've been preparing for my submission to Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 3.0. This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult works for voice I have ever worked on. With it being a "virtual" choir, I do not have the benefit of having a stellar singer beside me to follow. I need to know my pitches! Not only that, but I have to work tremendously hard on breath support.
It's been a wonderful challenge though. I got goosebumps when I first heard Virtual Choir 2.0 and am excited to just be a part of it.

 

Solo music making is fun but I'm finding that there is something magical and energizing about music making in an ensemble.
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