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Vittoria!

7 Jun

For little baby sopranos like yours truly, singing in TOSCA is a pretty far away dream. However, thanks to the magic of university (and a very ambitious vocal coaching graduate student, Corie Melaugh), I was lucky enough to get a taste of what performing this masterpiece will be like when I’m ready. I had the immense pleasure of singing as the soprano chorister for Ms. Melaugh’s vocal coaching project–Act II of TOSCA.

This is a staged reading–thus why you see scores! We put this together in an incredibly short amount of time, mind you. I don’t think we had the full cast and orchestra together until the day of the dress rehearsal.

In case you were in the mood for a little opera today, check out what our Scarpia (baritone Kasey Yeargain) uploaded to YouTube:

It’s great to be able to learn from the work of your peers. I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy the work of Kasey Yeagain (baritone, Scarpia), Phena Hackett (soprano, Floria Tosca), Matthew Brooks (tenor, Mario Cavaradossi), Joshua Hughes (baritone, Sciarrone), Christopher Layton (tenor, Spoletta), and the lovely cantata chorus of which I was a part (myself, Bridget Skaggs, Kathryne Overturf, Tevyn Hill, and Erick Rivera). Thanks to Corie for the opportunity.. and the sweet TOSCA score!

You don’t get to see me (I’m in the balcony, y’all!), but tune in for some high B action and just a glimpse of one of Puccini’s masterpieces.

Enjoy!

Who knows where the time goes?

2 Jun

Well, y’all, 2012 is half over and I haven’t written a single post. I’m three-fourths done with college, I did a recital, I was in a show, I said goodbye to some of my best friends, I’m getting ready to apply to grad school, I’m going to a summer program.. I’d say an update is in order.

JANUARY:

I DONE GAVE A RECITAL, Y’ALL.

I gave my junior vocal performance recital on January 27th, 2012 with my one of my best girl friends and studio mates, Nicole Leigh Hood. I’d say that we gave our audience its money’s worth.. but it was free. It is worthy to know that my recital was broadcast LIVE VIA THE INTERWEBS and in addition to every live body sitting in Petree Recital Hall, I had 27 unique people watching me across the country. It meant so much to me that my friends in Oregon, New York, Tennessee, and Kansas could hear (and sort of see) me sing, but it meant the most to have my grandmother, uncle, and cousin watch from her hospital room in Rockford, Illinois. Technology is pretty cool sometimes, huh?

I also found out that I was cast in THE MOTHER OF US ALL at school!

FEBRUARY:

February is a weird month. It always feels like it isn’t really there, but I promise you guys, it totally is. Highlights of February include:

– Seeing Sarah Coburn perform Great Moments of Opera with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic
– Beginning rehearsals for THE MOTHER OF US ALL

MARCH:

I found out I was accepted as a Young Artist at the CoOPERAtive program of Westminster Choir College for July! I was more than thrilled. I’ve been wanting to attend a summer program since I began my undergraduate degree. It was tough giving up camp for the summer, but I know I made the right decision.

I also had the time of my life portraying Gertrude Stein in Virgil Thomsson’s opera THE MOTHER OF US ALL.

It’s Constance Fletcher and Gertrude Stein!

March also marks the beginning of recital season.. and if you know anything about me, you know I was at almost every one of them. And at most of them, I was a puddle.

Told you.

APRIL:

As soon as the opera was over, I was in Full On Coast Mode. There was no pressure to learn a certain number of pieces for a repertoire requirement.. thank you, recital jury. That being said, I began work on a few new arias and some really amazing art songs, so let it be known I COULD HAVE TOTALLY DONE A “REAL” JURY AND BEEN JUST FINE. Basically, I’m a music magician.

All coasting side, I was a busy girl. Recital season was in full swing, and you could see me in Puddle Position at any number of junior recitals. Weeping. Ugly crying. I was (and am) so proud of my peers and can’t believe I get to say I go to school with such forward-thinking, spontaneous, honest, passionate performers.

Later in the month, I had the most amazing opportunity. John Bucchino, musical theater composer, came to OCU and gave a masterclass.. and I got to sing. Though I’m pursuing opera, I have loved and will always love musical theater. All singing is communicating and I do not consider myself solely an opera singer. What’s even greater is that as part of the masterclass, we were asked to sing one of Mr. Bucchino’s songs.. no pressure, y’all. Just sing one of the composer’s pieces. Needless to say, it was humbling and awe-inspiring. I sang “Sweet Dreams,” one of my favorite Bucchino songs. I learned so much from both Mr. Bucchino and my fellow masterclass participants. Imagine my surprise when Mr. Bucchino sat down at the piano and played his song for the second time around:

DAT’S ME

MAY:

In university, May is the time of goodbyes. We’re only there for about a week and a half, so everyone tries to cram in as many “goodbye” events as possible. I have never been one for goodbyes (I’m sentimental as enough as it is,  I don’t need to invite more sentiment into my existence), so I avoided them like the plague. Some of them were inevitable, though:

My big sister, Bonnie, and my best girl, Alyssa, the day of Baccalaureate!

I don’t have any siblings, but I do have a big sister. Her name is Bonnie and she’s been my role model and guiding star since I came to OCU in 2009. She’s been my good friend since I moved to Little Rock. I know that she’s gotta be a big bird and fly away, but I’m going to miss her more than anything. Thank goodness that you don’t stop being a sister when college is over.

And then.. junior year was over. All of a sudden, I have only one more year left at OCU. T-minus 28 days until I head to Princeton, NJ for my summer program. I plan to update FREQUENTLY, so.. get prepared, y’all. Now you’re all caught up, so I have no excuse.

Who knows where the time goes?

Holiday Horror

29 Nov

I’m going to be real, dear Reader. I’m stressed.

So stressed I want to tear my hair out. Most of this is self-inflicted stress, in all actuality–between the papers I’ve procrastinated, summer program applications I’ve shoved aside, the engagements to which I’ve committed myself, impending next semester auditions (one of which is tonight) and my general Overcommitment Syndrome, I’ve not left myself much room for relaxation in these last few weeks before Christmas break.

Thankfully, I’m not alone in my extreme anxiety. Campus is covered by a palpable tension–a little black rain cloud of procrastination, if you will. Pretty much everyone within a three-mile radius is just as stressed as I am. So, why am I not comforted?

These next three weeks always turn out to be my favorite of the semester, strangely enough. Everyone finds time to sit and enjoy the company of good friends despite the craziness. I have no doubt that this semester will shape up to be like the last three push-to-Christmas semesters I’ve experienced since being in college.

But for now? If you see me, hand me a cup of chai tea. I could use it.