So no singing today. We spent most of the day driving and in the very cool town of Delft doing lots of sightseeing and walking about. I had some Thai food, which I had been waiting for since I arrived. I won’t be writing much about the sight seeing aspect of this trip, as your kids can fill you in on that. I will add that Ken McG is a wonderful dancer:
I promised an update on the Andre Thomas masterclass. I’ve asked Sarah Arvin, past president of Concert Choir to give her impressions. Below is her post:
Working with Dr. Andre Thomas was a really great experience, but when he first walked in the room I was kind of intimidated. Right away he made a joke and the mood lightened, though. He was really funny and kept the atmosphere upbeat. We all wanted to work for him and do what he asked. We first worked on William Hawley’s O Maria Maris Stella. He singled me out right away, he called me the “mother ship” and the other second sopranos were the “satellites.” Next, we worked on Der Geist Hilft Unsrer Schwachheit Auf by Johann Sebastian Bach. He had a very different approach for us than when we worked with Geert-Jan van Beijeren.
Dr. Thomas is a composer who has arranged a number of Negro spirituals. He worked with us on the two spirituals we are singing, Moses Hogan’s I’m Gonna Sing ‘til The Spirit Moves in My Heart and Undine Moore’s Daniel, Daniel Servant of the Lord. Dr. Bronfman warned us before our tour to sing with a really rich, dark sound for the master class because if we didn’t Dr. Thomas was going to call us on it. He didn’t say much about our tone, so we must have done okay. He gave us a lot of ideas to think about for when we work on our spiritual pieces in the future. He also gave us some little known facts about Dr. Bronfman.
Dr. Thomas is in the Netherlands conducting at the American International School’s Honor Choir and Band Festival, and later this week we’re singing for the participants. At the end of the master class we talked about a couple of the pieces that we will sing for them on Saturday. Afterwards, I went to shake his hand and thank him for the great workshop and he gave me a big hug a said, “You’re special!” I can’t fully express how wonderful it was to get to work with Dr. Thomas.
Great post Sarah. I think that gives us a good feel of what Dr. Thomas gave us.
I’ve decided to post a few brief interviews with our students on their experiences. I will try to add the interviews regularly over the next few days. For now, here is bass Nick R. on his take. Check back to hear how the other students feel about this trip.