Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
  Vol. 8                                                ONLINE  ONLINE  ONLINE                                      February 2016    
Providing financial support since 1999 for The Rockbridge Choral Society and The Rockbridge Youth Chorale 

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Classical Composers - February Birthdays 

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy - 2/3/1809 
John T. Williams - 2/8/1932
Morten Lauridsen - 2/27/1943
Musical Happenings

3/5/2016 The Dali Quartet. Classical and Latin American music
8 PM, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center. No tickets required.

3/6/2016 Ardo Consort, W&L Faculty Leslie Nichols, clarinet; Julia Goudimova, cello; Bryan Petty and Shuko Watanabe, piano; works by Beethoven and Brahms. 3 PM, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center. No tickets required.

3/11/2016 Joan Baez in concert.
8 PM, Paramount Theatre, 205 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Tickets:  Click here

February - The Coldest Month?
February is the month when we all get bored and tired of winter and the cold. The days start to lengthen and we dream of and are impatient for spring. But spring is still weeks away, maybe. These days, one never knows. In this presidential election year, the airwaves are full of shouting, cattle calling contenders. What else to do to pass the time? Why not curl up with a good book with a musical theme? We've mined some 'best of' lists and there are some common threads. Here are a few for your consideration. Happy reading and singing!
The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather
          This second of Cather's novels in her Great Plains Trilogy is thought to be the most autobiographical of her works. It chronicles the journey of an aspiring young singer, Thea Kronborg, from her small Colorado town to the Metropolitan Opera House. It's a story of American determination.

The Loser , Thomas Bernhard, 1991, Alfred A.
      Thomas Bernhard's novel centers on the fictional relationship between piano virtuoso, Glenn Gould, and two of his fellow students. The latter, when confronted with Gould's emerging genius, renounce their musical ambitions. One commits suicide and the other retreats into obscurity. The Loser is a meditation on success, failure, genius, and fame. The author's gift for lyrical, provocative prose is in full form in this book.

Bel Canto
, Ann Pat chett, 2005, Harper Perennial
         The home of a South American country's vice president and a disrupted birthday party is the setting of this novel. Roxanne Coss, a revered soprano, is the featured performer of the evening which is blown apart when a band of armed terrorists takes the entire party hostage. As the story evolves, hostages and terrorists forge unexpected bonds. People from different countries become friends, all through the only language common to all - music. You won't want the captivity to end or to put this book down.

The First Four Notes
: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination, Matthew Guerrieri, 2012, Random House LLC 
          This musical history examines what may have influenced Beethoven's writing of his 5 th symphony and how this work has influenced times and historical figures since. The author uncovers possible sources for the opening notes in the rhythms of ancient Greek poetry and certain French revolutionary songs and symphonies. Contrary to popular belief, history tells us that Beethoven was not deaf when he wrote the Fifth. The book chronicles this symphony's influence in China, Russia, and the US. Emerson and Thoreau were passionate fans. Both the Allies and the Nazis used the masterpiece during World War II. This book is an intriguing and very readable piece of detective work. Hear an interview with the author and conductor, John Elliot Gardner here:   Click here 

The Queen of the Night
, Alexander Chee, 2016, Harcourt
           Hot off the press is Alexander Chee's new novel about a Paris opera singer, Lilliet Berne, a legendary soprano with a hidden past. That past begins with her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe, and culminates in her transfiguration from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress's maid to debut singer, weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation and political intrigue. An excerpt, read by the author in this interview, is a mere taste of the prose in this beautifully written book. Click here 

From CATS to Honor Choir
           Katie Boylan could sing the entire score of Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical, Cats , at the age of 3, and she's been singing ever since. A member of both the Rockbridge Youth Chorale and the Rockbridge Choral Society as an alto, Katie is a busy musician. A voice student of our own, Christine Schad eberg, Katie participated in
Katie Boylan
the Virginia District V Honors Choir in 2014 and 2015. In 2015 after going through a rigorous nomination and audition process, she was selected for the Southern Division, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) High School Women's Honor Choir. Wow, that's a mouthful! This year's SDACDA conference is in Chattanooga, TN, March 9-12 and Katie will be there. She was sponsored by Lacey Lynch, member of the ACDA and director of the Rockbridge Youth Chorale. Congratulations, Katie!
The Workshop Was a Success!
         On February 5 and 6, nearly 30 singers spent an  informative and enjoyable time with Barbara Hollinshead, a note teacher and soloist in the W ashington, D.C. area and frequent soloist with the Rockbridge Choral Society.  To help prepare the chorus for a challenging April performance
Barbara Hollinshead
of Mendelssohn's  Elijah , singers practiced techniques for breathing, supporting pitch, nailing hasty entrances and building the stamina needed to successfully perform a major choral work.  We are very g rateful to Barbara for her time and expertise and to Washington and Lee University through the Friends of the RCS for providing the grant funding to make this workshop possible.     

Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society |
Rockbridge Choral Society
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Lexington, VA 24450