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Friday, December 6, 2013

What do you demand of your students?

On Facebook I'd re-posted this:
This got quite a few responses (as you might imagine!), but Brian Dohe, a former student at PLU said, "For students who fail to memorize the German text of Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes . . . "

That got me thinking about how much I asked of students at that time. The Brahms happened because two wonderful pianists (sisters: Robin and Rochelle McCabe) were booked to do the Artist Series at PLU. I contacted Robin and asked if they'd be willing to do the Brahms on the program with the Choir of the West. Robin said yes, so we programmed that . . . and I thought the music would make the best impact if we sang from memory . . . so we did.

That same semester (1985, so a big anniversary year for Bach, Handel, Schütz) we did the Bach Mass in B Minor with the professional NW Chamber Orchestra. And in January we did our tour program, which we also did at the PNW Bach Festival in Spokane, along with Bach's cantata #50.

And that fall on the Christmas program we sang the Poulenc Gloria.

So the rep that year was:
- usual carols plus Poulenc Gloria
- a tour program:
-->
Die mit tränen säen................................................................................................. Schütz

Der Zwölfjährige Jesus im Tempel

Komm, Jesu, Komm............................................................................................ J.S. Bach

Come Mighty Father............................................................................................ Handel

Draw the Tear

How Excellent Thy Name

(each of the Handel anthems with a student chamber orchestra)

Libera me...................................................................................................... Lajos Bardos

Schaffe in mir, Gott (Op. 29, no. 2)..................................................................... Brahms

Trois Chansons.................................................................................................... Debussy
- Brahms - Liebeslieder Walzer
- Bach - Mass in B Minor

And the tour program would have been sung from memory as well.

After posting this on Facebook, another former student, Joe Pettit, replied, "We were students. We thought it was normal. Looking back . . .  sheesh."


4 comments:

shall said...

Pedantry of day---isn't every year an "anniversary year"?

The Leeks said...

I'm with Joe. We didn't know any better. I thought it was awesome because it WAS awesome.

Das, was uns nicht tötet, macht uns stärker. Friedrich Nietzsche

Richard said...

Well, not every year is an "anniversary year" of the 300th anniversary of Bach and Handel's birth! There are big anniversaries of either birth or death of composers each year--for example, this is a big "anniversary year" for Benjamin Britten (he would have been 100) and there are many performances of his works during 2013.

Richard said...

You didn't know any better, nor did I!