Tag: recitals

Recital, Music and a Little Rain

Today turned out to be a fun day.  It is another example of when I’m tired and don’t feel like doing something I should always do it! (Remind me of that the next time I am  feeling lazy).  Monday’s are always hard for me.  Even working from home the weekend never seems long enough.  There is so much to do and so much work to get caught up on that it can feel overwhelming.

To add to my normal Monday mood today I had a voice lesson followed by our summer recital. I sang Let Me In from the film Rigoletto (not associated with the opera aside from a similar storyline but updated). Its a beautiful, haunting song that most people are unfamiliar with, so I really enjoyed singing it.  Its also one I know very well so in my busy open water season I didn’t have to worry too much about it (although I did fumble the words in one spot.  Nerves!).

After the recital I had tickets to see Bill Medley of Righteous Brother’s fame at the Scera Shell in Orem. I get season tickets every year because they are such an insane deal. 10 events (3 plays, 7 concerts) for $75.  Less if you are a student.  I’ve had tickets for most of the time I’ve lived in Utah and each year they get better acts and more polished theatrical productions.  The big draw this year was Josh Turner in July but I am also looking forward to Richard Marx at the end of this month.  I have seen him once before at Scera and really enjoyed it.

Anyway, I had tickets but I felt exhausted just thinking about the recital let alone the concert.  I offered them to my friend Rachel but she didn’t want to go and then on my way to the recital she changed her mind and encouraged me to go so I agreed.  It ended up raining through most of the show but we had a good time anyway.  If anything it made it more memorable with the rain (and for $7.50 you can hardly complain about a concert especially by a Hall of Fame singer!).

I'm so blessed to have such great friends.  I really love them like sisters.
I’m so blessed to have such great friends. I really love them like sisters.

All in all it ended up being a good day, which I am grateful for.

Here’s the video of my song. 

The end got cut off and I flubbed a line of lyrics but I think it turned out pretty well.  (I’m not a professional singer.  I just dabble at it for fun).  The other day I added up what I have spent over the years on voice lessons and it is kind of staggering; however I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  It has given me confidence and provided a creative outlet from the hum-drums of my sometimes all too unexciting life.

If you can learn anything from me cultivate what talents you have.  Try new things.  Be creative.  I love what President Uchtdorf says about creating things.  It is one of our deepest yearnings and we all need to find our own ways to make our mark on the world.  Even if it is just dopey little recitals every couple of months, it is creating something:

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”

If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

I couldn’t have summed up these 7 years of voice lessons better!

Spring Recital 2012

My teacher Amanda and I

As any reader to this blog knows I take voice lessons. Amazingly enough I have been taking the lessons for the last 6 years! My teacher is Amanda Crabb and I work with her through Hale Center Theater Orem.  Its a drive for me but I signed up when I lived in Orem and Amanda and I have become so close that I couldn’t go to anyone else.

After 6 years of singing I have practically exhausted the broadway cannon so lately I’ve been trying some other genres like pop or jazz.  Its been a lot of fun.  I’d be able to do even more if I could play the piano.  I’m pretty good at finding back tracks but I wish I could play the piano (and yes I own one but can’t really play it!).

It might seem strange to you that a grown women takes voice lesson for no practical reason.  It is something I do that is purely selfish.  It makes me happy and that’s enough of a reason for me.  It all started when I was super unhappy with my work and life in 2006.  I needed to find something to think about besides work.  I think I went to a show at Hale and saw the ad for lessons and I figured ‘Why not?  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  Why not?’   So I started.  My first teacher was Dallyn Bayles and then I got Amanda about a year later.

Taking lessons is one of the most satisfying things I do.  Each week is a like a little pep talk where I get so much positive reinforcement ( you know how some people are fans of tough love.  Me, not so much).  Anyway, its so gratifying to hear a song the first time through and its awful but after a few weeks its passable.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to win American Idol or be on Broadway but I don’t think people would cover their ears when they hear me sing either.  For years I was told that I didn’t have a pretty voice, that I wasn’t good enough to ‘really sing’, so for me finishing a song is a affirmation of the dreams I had in high school that were stomped on by unforgiving teachers.

Because of the negative feedback I’d received as a child the first time I sang in a recital I was so nervous.  I told Dallyn that ‘I’m an adult and you can’t make me sing’.  The funny thing is I’ve now found after 12+ recitals that it is something I am actually good at.  I always have my best performance in recital and the theatrics are easy for me to get into.  (It makes me want to do another play.  I’d love that).

Today was our latest recital and trying to do something different (and feeling a little bit bold) I chose to sing the Etta James classic At Last.  I mentioned I was preparing for this performance in a previous post.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/at-last/

It is a big song and in a jazzy style that I have never sung in before.  Because it is so recognizable and such a diva song I started to get a little nervous.  I wondered ‘Why did I have to pick such a difficult song?’ and I had visions of my first recital crash and burn.  Of course, the practice before my recital I made every mistake in the book, forgetting words, voice cracking, you name it.

Like I said, its not perfect but it shows a lot of improvement.  My teachers were super pleased.   Dave even had his mouth agape at the middle section.  He gave me a high five and said ‘now that’s how to belt!”.  Amanda said she was ‘blown away’.  This made me feel SO GOOD! I’m on cloud 9 right now!

So, here’s the performance.  I think the middle of the song is particularly strong.  Enjoy!

If you want to see my improvement take a look at some of my previous recital posts.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/over-the-rainbow/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/christmas-recital-2011/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/voice-lessons/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/my-favorite-things/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/summer-recital/

Looking forward to rest

I admit it today I would annoy Calvin!
I admit it today I would annoy Calvin! It's been a stressful couple of days.

I can’t write much but I wanted to update quickly on the craziness of my life the last few days.  First of all, I  moved on Saturday to my new 2 bedroom apartment.  It is much roomier and in a way feels more like a home than my last place.  I will always love that apartment because it proved I could be on my own and be happy.  This apartment feels different but I have high hopes for it as well.  As you can expect the move was stressful and exhausting.  I am so grateful to Easton Brown, Sarah Creer and other friends from church who came to my moving rescue.  It was a hot day and the move took several hours.  As I have often said I am blessed with wonderful people in my life.

With the boxes moved in the next task of unpacking came into play.  (By the way, we have also had people in all 4 houses over the last few days which is great but stressful!).  It is shocking how much stuff I have.  Truly shocking!  Thank goodness my roommate has only furniture for her bedroom and little kitchen stuff.  That was a huge blessing! She hasn’t officially moved in yet but I consulted with her before placing furniture and unpacking my kitchen stuff.  She seems very easy going, and I think we will make a good team.

I am proud to say I finished the unpacking today!  The final step was my office.  I will put up photos of my new place soon. I just love it so much!

In the midst of all this unpacking and working I also had to do my final check out of my old place today.  This morning to be more particular.  I thought I had done a pretty good job with things but the inspector sure found a big list of problems.  By the end of the check out it seems I will be responsible for $200 worth of stuff!  That’s the downside of renting.

Naturally I was in a bad mood this morning but then we added on more stress by having a crisis at work.  I won’t go into the details but one of the houses had some minor vandalism and we had someone checking into the house today!  It was creepy, annoying and exhausting all at the same time.  It ended up taking Jim and I the entire afternoon to resolve the problem.  Luckily the tenants are happy and nothing was seriously damaged or taken except some sheets that had to be replaced.  We are now already in the process of getting alarm systems on all 4 houses.

The other stressful event that happened is yesterday I made the mistake of purchasing an Ikea bookshelf with doors for the kitchen as a type of pantry. We got the bookshelf together easy enough but the stupid doors were impossible.  We literally spent the entire day.  By saying we, I mean my friend Melany Bushe and I.  I think the definition of a true friend is someone who will help you assemble Ikea furniture.  It was a lot of work and the frustrating thing is that it still isn’t perfect.  It wobbles more than it should and the doors don’t line up perfectly!  Part of the problem is they only give you those silly drawings as instructions.  There are always a million ways to go wrong- and usually I find all of them! Oh well!  It will have to do for now.  You know there is a joke about Ikea furniture- How may PHD’s do you need to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture?- 3 one PHD in Swedish, one in Engineering and one in relationship counseling.  Luckily mine and Melany’s relationship is still intact and the friendship will persist despite the trial!

Need I mention that I also have my recital for voice lessons on Friday! I am doing Somewhere Over the Rainbow which may sound like a simple song but in fact it is quite difficult.  It has an octave change with every Some-where and Rain-bow. It is definitely the hardest song I have done at a recital and is a bit of a risk.  I hope it pays off- especially with how little rehearsal time I have gotten lately with the move and all.  Wish me luck come Friday. I wish it sounded like this. 01 Over The Rainbow (Single Version)

Between everything going on I am looking forward more than ever to the tropical paradise that awaits me this Sunday.  Hawaii here I come!  I can’t think of anything more relaxing than lying in the sun with a good book listening to the waves.  I’d give up a meal a day for that pleasure! Every ounce of my sore achy emotional body is yearning for that blessed island.  Thank goodness for vacations by the ocean! I need it real bad!