June 2, 2012

You can read a review from yesterday’s concert here.

We had a warm-up today in a new space – the Simons Center Recital Hall.  We reviewed, for the final time, a couple of spots in Kepler – we are always refining, building artistry, becoming more sophisticated performers.  Tonight is the final show of the opera, and Philip Glass is going to be in the audience.  To quote Dr. Miller: “The composer is going to be there, so you might as well just sing the pants off of this.” 

And we did!  Tonight’s show was the pinnacle performance.  Energy on stage was exhilarating, the singing was spectacular, and there was a sense of humble accomplishment in every individual I encountered.  We met Philip Glass backstage just before the show started, and then he joined us on stage for bows at the end.  It was surreal, and wonderful, and I will never forget the experience as long as I live. 

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Scene from Act 1 of Kepler. (Left to right: Kathryn Krasovec, mezzo-soprano; John Hancock, baritone, Anne-Carolyn Bird, soprano; Matt Boehler, bass; Dan Kempson, baritone; Not shown: Leah Wool, mezzo-soprano; Gregory Schnidt, tenor)

I have gotten such wonderful feedback from this blog, and many alums of Westminster have shared their own memories, including this one from Mary J. Renneckar, class of 1972, member of the Westminster Choir from 1969-1972:  During Joe Flummerfelt’s 1st year at WCC, we prepared the premier of Messiaen’s “The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ” during the inaugural year of the Kennedy Center (National Symphony Orchestra, Durati conducting).  Messiaen had invented a new instrument – the wind machine – and played it himself as a member of the percussion section.  This work was also recorded and is in many public libraries.  My heart is very full as I read Jordan’s records of this year’s Spoleto experiences.  The hearts of this ‘in the choir’ throughout the generations are forever linked.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Mary!

Below are some thank you notes from the cast and crew to the choir!

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About Westminster Choir

Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a center for music study in Princeton, N.J.
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One Response to June 2, 2012

  1. Carpenter Stephen says:

    It’s music and magic after all. To think that you became “this Westminster Choir” this past September. I was at your concert in November and was blown away. And the internal trust you have of each other’s craft skill, spirit and vision is summed up in Dr. Miller being able to say, “The composer is going to be there, so you might as well just sing the pants off of this.” And you all knew what that was going to be and what you were going to need to do.

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