Archive for the ‘Souhegan Valley Chorus’ Category

SVC Holiday Concert Review   Leave a comment

Crossposted from the SVC  Music Analysis Blog. Please see note at the end of the entry regarding that blog.

The Theme Of This Year’s Holiday Concert was Christmas Favorites. Once again we had another great Guest Performance by The New Hampshire Youth Singers who sang I See A Star and Holly Jolly Santa Claus. Both choruses joined together to sing Dominick The Donkey which was a great closer for the 1st Half Of The Concert.
Favorite songs in the concert aside from Dominick The Donkey included African Noel,Sing We Now Of Christmas, Mistletoe and Holly, I See A Star and Nutcracker Jingles.
White Christmas wrapped up the concert. It was great to see a song performed again from the first concert I was in with SVC four years AGO. White Christmas is a popular Christmas song originated by Bing Crosby and is from the Irving Berlin musical Holiday Inn. In the concert four years ago solos in this piece were by Heather Arsenault and Bryan Higgs. This time around there were no soloists in this piece but with or without solos it is a truly beautiful piece.
Twas the Night Before Christmas was originally adopted from what was also called A Visit from St. Nicholas, with the writing created by Clement Crake Moore in 1822. It’s a wonderful prologue about Christmas Eve when Santa with his eight reindeer go up on the housetop, and Santa goes down through the chimney with a bag of toys. It was one of the first times someone believed how Santa would do this every Christmas Eve. There were spoken solos describing St. Nick from Ellie Risley, Brenda Cannon, Christy Belvin, Jean Desany, and Arthur Harkness. The line where St. Nick goes to work and fills the stockings before going back up the chimney was a sung solo by Tenor veteran John Potelle. For a bonus feature, I found a feature of this classic tale on DOS that I used to have with my old IBM Computer back when I was little. The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07pssCSaMi0
Review Contributors: Patty Helbig, Derrick Walcott, Jane Walcott

 

All other reviews of  holiday music and theatre performances will  be posted on  Dec 20th

 

A note  regarding the Music Analysis Blog:  Matt and  I will be seeking other performing opportunities  in  Nashua  in both  music  and theatre.  Amherst and  Milford are no longer local to  us   because of  the recent  relocation of my parents to  Maine.   We would like to thank Souhegan Valley Chorus  for all the great memories we have made  over the past couple of years.    We will look back on everything fondly.

The Rechoired  Reading Blog  and accompanying  Facebook page will be  deleted   1/01/2019.

 

 

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Posted December 10, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Souhegan Valley Chorus

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas   Leave a comment

Another crossover  post for   the Rechoired   Reading  Blog since Meet Me  In St. Louis was the PTA play in 2013 and this week’s featured song in my  Songs Of Christmas Past  series  is   Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.   The song was written by  Hugh Marti n and    The setting for this scene is on Christmas Eve when  Tootie  the  youngest Smith child is  upset because this is their last Christmas in  St,  Louis.  This song   was sung by  Judy Garland  in the movie version which  came out in  1944.     In the play Esther Smith was played  by Margaret  Windler and Tootie Smith was played by Ashley Ross.       Earlier in the show the  Mr. Smith who was played by Roger Hurd finds  out he has gotten a promotion at  his  job    and the  family will have to move to New York.    Naturally this upsetting for the rest of the family especially with the   Worlds Fair coming up in the spring.   I mentioned in my    post about R &H Cinderella that MMISL  is not my  favorite play and here is why..   basically  the  whole base  of the story is that the family is going to move and then they do not end  moving.    There is a marriage  proposal at the end of the show  for the oldest Smith daughter  Rose  who was played  by  our  SVC director Jenn Erdody.

Did you know that  the  lyrics of this song  had to be changed from the original  version to fit the  movie?   Judy Garland   and other people on the films directorial did not like them that they though they were too depressing. I have posted the original lyrics below

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Do  you blame Judy Garland for feeling this way?   I do not.. not in  the least  bit!  If  I had been  in her shoes  I would have wanted the lyrics  changed too.

Frank Sinatra came out with a modified  version of this song in 1957 which is the version   I am  much  more familiar with.   The lyrics were changed to    hang  a  shining  star  upon the highest bough.   Other variations  of this song  have been performed  by  Bing  Crosby, Doris Day,  The Pretenders,  James Taylor and   Luther Vandross.  A more recent version by Sam Smith  was performed in 2014.

SVC performed  this  song   in   our 2014  Christmas In Hollywood    Concert with solos by  Naomi Cohen and Bryan Higgs.

 

Adversity   Leave a comment

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth  Kubler Ross

I rarely get personal on this blog.. in fact  I try to avoid it since it supposed to be  professional.    I’d like to step away  from that for a second though.

Note: Names have been omitted from this blog post.

Today I have chosen to talk about adversity. I’ve overcome a lot of it to get to where I am today.   The end of last   year  and beginning of this year I  overcame my  fair share of  it and it relates to theatre and music.

In  November   there was a shake up among the  ranks for the original directors of the production were let go.It was  appropriately    refered to as Mermaidgate.  The  Board of Directors  of the PTA let them go  because of creative differences. The Board never offered an explanation or apology which I find to be frustrating. The thing that bothered me the most and still bothers me is how  the PTA Board of Directors was so deceitful  and dishonest in what they  did  to Sue and Pam.  There were many people who did not audition  because of what happened..  essentially splitting apart a family.

Despite the reservations that I had   I decided to audition.  The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite  Disney movies of all time and I did not want to pass up my shot to  be in this play. I am so glad that  I did.      This show  was so much fun to be  a part of . They always are.  We had an  amazing cast.    It was great to meet new people too. This was my absolute favorite show out of the ones   I have done with the PTA. I already miss the show and everyone in it very much.     Best way to beat post show depression? Watch DVDS of past shows that I borrowed from John Sauter.  I need some new fan fiction plot line ideas after all!

Right  now though I am at  a crossroads.    Because of what has happened  I am not sure if  I can continue to be a part of a group where the board  does not have respect for the hard work that was  put into the production. I   have a lot of respect for everyone in the PTA group and so much love for everyone too.    I really hope that  there will be a new  Board Of Directors instated  that will be able to start over   fresh with the PTA play  put creative differences aside and focus on the main goal of  the  play which is to raise money for the Amherst Schools. .   What happened definitely left a bitter  taste in my mouth.  I am glad I was able to put that aside and still enjoy the play with an awesome  group of  people that has become like a second family to me since 2011.

The  next  example of overcoming adversity   has to do with Souhegan Valley Chorus.   It is no secret that  I have had issues with getting along with my chorus director for the past couple years.   I have a lot of respect for my director and she knows that. I struggled for awhile with   focusing in chorus.  I was upset at myself for a long time and this really  distracted my enjoyment in chorus and having fun. I  also openly admit that I didn’t  really want to disclose my disabilities because  I did not think they would outwardly affect my singing.   This was a factor in me not feeling included as well.   We had a special meeting on  February 13th about inclusion.  That helped  me to feel a lot better.   I guess  I was afraid to disclose my disabilities to everyone because   I didn’t think that it was necessary to do that.    Singing is a passion of mine and it has been for many years.  My  vision  impairment definitely  had a negative impact on my performance though I think.. maybe I would have been able to get  help if  I had mentioned something sooner. Lesson learned.

These are two examples of how  I have overcome adversity  recently.  I have  learned a lot of lessons from these experiences.

Guest Reviews  Coming Soong

The Little Mermaid   Amherst PTA   Laura Vitale

Anything Goes  Pinkerton Players   (Pinkerton Academy Spring Musical)   Christie Conticchio

Update:  I decided to step away from chorus for the next semester so I can focus on the musical theatre cabaret I am doing at work.  I also need to refocus my mindset so I can actually start enjoying chorus again and work past all the anxiety I have been dealing with & focus on wedding planning .I am hoping to return in the spring. As for the PTA play next year’s  show is Mulan Junior which be  a show for 8-18 year olds. I might work backstage or take the year off so I can go watch  the show.

 

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Under The Sea Analysis   Leave a comment

 

 

tlmposter

Poster design by Sophie Linkroum

Hello Friends,

I have decided to  kill two birds with one stone  and combine my analysis of  Under  The Sea with  talking about my  experience in The Little Mermaid  thus far.  Shameless plugging for the PTA play.

 

Let my start off  by saying that  The Little Mermaid has always been  one of my all time favorite Disney movies.  It came out in  1989   with  Jodi   Benson  voicing  the lead   character  Princess Ariel.    In our   A  Night The Oscars  Showcase in 2016 my  fiancé Matt sang  Under  The Sea  for his solo and it was  a  crowd  pleaser which bought the house down. Many people were disappointed he did not try out for Sebastian when auditions came around in January   but I understood the reason why he didn’t audition and I think others did too.   Under  The Sea is sung  by  Sebastian  the  Crab  trying to convince Ariel not to  go up to the human world  “The human world is a mess.. life under the sea is better than anything they’ve  got up there.”   It is a very fun  high energy piece.

 

Rehearsals  for The Little Mermaid are going great so  far.  I have to admit  all of the drama centered around Pam and Sue being  let  go as directors  almost made me decide to not audition but then  I thought “This is not a shot  I want to throw away. ”  I am in the Under The Sea  ensemble so  I am in Under The SeaKiss The  Girl, the opening  number when King Triton’s daughters have their  concert  and a few other crowd scenes in Act II.     We are at the point the   rehearsal  process when  we are  doing full  run throughs and things  have  been going well.  It  is  fun to see all the other numbers  I am not in coming together.  We have amazing leads   who  I am excited to be  working with.   Some of them are  Sophie Linkroum (Ariel),  Russ Arrowsmith (King Triton),  Laura Millar (Ursula),  William Desharnais  (Prince Eric) and Michael Steadman (Grimsby)

Our directing   team  this year is  Sharron and Ben April, Lauren Busa and Tiffany  Jacobs and Amy  Mcguigan.      4 weeks are left  until the show opens  and I am so excited to move into  Souhegan after Easter.

 

Get your  tickets now for  Little Mermaid because you do not want to miss it!

Posted March 22, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Souhegan Valley Chorus

Stress Management   Leave a comment

Have  a little reprieve from seeing shows for a couple weeks.   Time to reflect.

Last  night  I went to  a class at Catholic  Medical  Center about  Mindfulness and Stress Relief  techniques with  Matt and Jeff.   Patty suggested it  to us and  I am so glad she did.   I have had my  share of stress and anxiety in the past  ten months or so  I  definitely needed new methods on  to manage it better.

We  got  a sheet on feeling  vocabulary at the seminar and here are some words that  stood out to me  on this list.

:

Aggravated and mad:  Mostly at myself for how I handled the situation of a friendship ending and how  I handle rejection from failed auditions. Example  of failed audition: When  I did not do well at the audition for Souhegan Valley Showcase last year or just how   I deal in general with   rejection when I fail an audition such as in the past when  I’ve auditioned for  Stagecoach Productions and Actorsingers.

 

Nervous: Because I thought how  I was acting  was affecting  how a certain person thought about me.

Now  I know this  was sort of ridiculous because I know this person  likes me. Was she mad at me? Nope.  I have no idea why I thought she would’ve been.

Sad: Especially because Dan and Gerry passed away and   I have constantly been thinking of how much  I miss them.  My  dog was put to sleep on Thursday too.

Anxious: See above notes about a friendship ending.

Unfocused: Because of all the feelings  I mentioned above which  I why I had to  take a break from SVC this semester and just focus on Wizard Of Oz. Last year  I realized   a huge part of my problem that  I was being  pulled in too many different directions between chorus,   the play and SVC  Board Of Directors.

Frustrated: Because tech week can be stressful and  I lost my cool a few times during Wizard Of Oz.

Grateful:     High School graduation has passed.  I have actually been kind of sad because  I am going to really   miss  Naomi and Matt next year as they are the two  kids  who are graduating  who  I’ve grown the closest to.  I know that they will meet amazing new people on their journey to their next chapter and can’t wait to hear where it’s going to take them.   I am also  grateful for my friends and family who helped me through my stressful time as I dealt with all these various emotions.

 

During the class  I was able to take  a  step back and reevaluate things.   I realized that all this negativity gets me nowhere  especially since  typically I am  a really  positive person .  Time   to turn the negatives into positives.   The 1st part of 2017 has been  a learning  curve and a time for growth and change for me. Here’s  to the next six months being  more happy!

 

Thank you again  Patty for recommending this class.  It was incredibly helpful.

 

 

Remembering Dan.   Leave a comment

“So  I say  thank you for the music

The songs I’m singing

Thanks for all the  joy they’re bringing

Who can live without,  it  I  ask it in all honesty

What would life be?

Without   a song or  a dance what are we?

So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me.”

~ Thank You  For The Music  Mamma Mia

I have been having so much trouble coming up with the words to properly capture  how I feel  about  Dan Wolaver passing away.  I couldn’t speak at the services today because  I did not feel  I was ready to talk yet about how much he has meant to Matt and I.   Listening to the song  Thank You For The Music from Mamma Mia   (quoted above) finally allowed me to gather my thoughts.

I joined  SVC in  Fall 2014 and Matt joined the following  fall semester in 2015.   Everyone   was very welcoming to us  especially  Dan.    We both have found a second family  within the chorus and are so happy for all the friendships we have made.  Dan’s guidance  was  very important to both of us.  The last time  that that I saw him  he came over to my apartment with  suggestions for songs we could use for  future duet auditions and also gave us  an arrangement of  I’m  A  Believer from Shrek The Musical that can be used as a quartet.    Unfortunately we could  not audition for the  Showcase since we will be going to   at a wedding  but we are planning to audition for the Milford Pumpkin Festival talent show in September. Name of quartet is to be announced but of course it will be  a Shrek related quartet name.    Our audition and performance if we get chosen will be  dedicated to Dan’s memory.    Dan also  put a poem  I wrote  called Angels On My  Shoulder to sheet music which  I hope to be able to perform at some point.  Matt  also  added that  Dan got  him involved with reading music and what  the terminology meant and is  grateful for that.

So yes indeed, Dan  thank you for the music and all you have done for SVC.   Everyone in SVC will miss you very much but  I think Matt and I will miss you the most of all. We love you.

SVC Concert Review   Leave a comment

This review has been posted to the Facebook page for the blog but I can’t seem to figure out how to also share the review to the SVC Facebook since I  don’t administrate that page and my page can’t link up to it.

 

This semester’s theme was Director’s Choice  selected by Jennifer Erdody  from songs that have been done for past semesters of SVC and also with her choruses  at Milford High School.    Of course  being the journalist that I am  I asked people as they  were coming out  of the theatre what their favorite songs were. For Good seemed to be a popular choice as that is one of my favorite songs too. Some people could not choice a favorite.  Besides   For Good  I also liked the  Jersey Boys Medley,  L-O-V-E, How Do  I Keep From Singing? ( the concert’s title track)  and Spirit  Eternal.    I also won play tickets to the Milford Area Players fall show in the  Silent  Auction which was an added bonus.

Our concert was dedicated  to the memory of Dan Wolaver and  Gerry Katz who died in February.   Though  I was laughing  at the funny memories that were being shared  I also wanted to cry because I am going to  really miss Dan and  Gerry a lot.   That’s why I got especially choked up during For Good because knowing them definitely has changed  me a lot and I’m sure other members of the chorus feel the same way. Dan’s services  are on Saturday afternoon and  I think that’s going to be really hard for me.  I know he wouldn’t want me to be sad though and neither would Gerry.

Another great SVC concert.   I love everyone in this group so very much!   I can’t wait to come back in the fall after taking the semester off.

Posted May 17, 2017 by theatretechdiva in Souhegan Valley Chorus