This summer has not been what I was expecting when I decided to stay in Rexburg. For one, I was expecting to atleast be able to find a job....which has not yet happened. So for the past month and a half of the summer, I have been an unemployed, part-time student wondering where on earth the money to live and pay for tuition is going to come from. It's at times like this, I suppose, that people wish money really did grow on trees. Yeah, if only!!
I also didn't expect when I registered for only 6 credits that my classes would be as time consuming as they have been. I am in Collegiate Singers again this semester. This is the choir that I toured to Alaska with (not all the same singers though). At the beginning of the semester, Bro Kemtom, our director, told us that we had a busy semester ahead of us because we were taking on 4 large projects instead of the usual 1 or 2. Every other year or so, the music and theatre departments of the school produce an Opera and this summer they are doing 2 one act Operas, Dido and Aeneas and Gianni Schicci. Before classes started back in May, I audition for the directors with high hopes that I would land a role in one of the 2 Operas. My voice has been improving dramatically the past few semesters and I really felt as if I had a good shot of making it. Unfortunatly, my name did not end up on the casting list and I have to admit that I was pretty dang sad...in fact, I was more than sad for a few days. Anyway... On the bright side, one of the 4 projects that Bro Kempton had signed his choir up for was as the Chorus of the Opera. So, since I was already in the choir, I would automatically be in the Opera Chorus for Dido! Hurray! That lifted my spirits because I would still get to be on stage and sing in the Opera, which are two things I LOVE! So, we've been rehearsing since the semester started and the rehearsals are not easy...and they are NEVER short! As the chorus, we not only get to sing but we get to dance as well! If you've ever seen a Jane Austen movie, we do dances that are very similar to the ones that are done at the balls in those movies; very graceful, balet dancing with a partner! Super fun!
The other three projects my choir has been doing includes the premier recording of an Orotorio written by Robert Cundick, concert pieces performed with the Symphony Orchestra, and 8 -10 regular pieces for the Summer Choir Festival. Thats ALOT of music to learn! Its a good thing I love music!
I changed voice teachers this semester. Ever since I started in the music program, I've wanted to study with Kris Ceisinski, an Ex- Opera Diva who had an amazing international performing career in Opera until she decided to teach at BYU-I, where she's been for the past 12 years. I did Opera Scenes in the winter, which Kris runs and directs several of the scenes, yet I was not in one of her scenes. Well, I aproached her at the end of winter semester and told her how much I wanted to study with her. I wasn't even sure if she knew my name or who I was because to be quite honest, she always scared the socks off me! She's an intimidating person...she's a professional and very good at what she does. However, when I spoke to her, she looked me straight in the eye and immediatly told me that she would take me in a heartbeat. So, I signed up with her and what an experience It has been. I can't really go into all the details without boring you all to death but lets just say that my vocal quality and technique has improved immensly! And because Kris is a pro and so good at what she does, she demands alot out of her students. She told me from the get-go that she expected me to practice more than I ever had and come to lessons more than well prepared! Intense stuff, but it has worked wonders with me and someday I will be in her shoes with an amazing performing career behind me and a university full of young music students that I can intimidate and teach!
I am also taking an acting class. I figured that since I want perform Opera sometime in my future, I might want to learn to act! I love the class! It has been helping me let go of alot of my insecurities and become more open...not only a more open performer but a more open person in general. That is something I've struggled with my whole life and I feel like the class is changing my old guarded habits! As a class, we are performing 2 seperate scenes from 2 differant plays. This requires added rehearsal time and memorization to my already crazy music stuff!
Rexburg is beautiful in the summer. All the students are outside on sunny days playing at the park, jogging, walking, laying on the lawns or simply hanging out in the parking lots. Its a bustle of activity that is so differant from the frigid and freezing fall/winter semesters here. I love it!
All in all, it's been a very intersting summer unlike any summer I've ever had! Where I have been lacking in the job department I've made up in the music and performing department which I hope will pay off sometime down the road!!