Choral Conducting!

Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while but this semester has been crucial, stressful, with new challenges and with life changing oportunities. I will briefly talk about my choral conducting course and experiences I’ve had this semester.

As a parenthesis before I started this Fall semester,  I went to Vermont/Canada with the PUCPR Concert Choir and we participated in a 3 day tour in Vermont and 4 days in  the Loto-Quebec International World Choral Festival in as the name states in Quebec, Canada. Even though it was only one week I had the chance visit and get out of this Island (which was a first) and experience and ultimately share with the rest of the world  Puertorrican Music with my friends and with my mentor/director Prof. Ruben Colon Tarrats. This was a wonderful experiments for me specially since this semester was my Choral Conducting course, and in July I was part of a 5 week workshop of Renaissance Music with other 11 companions with my professor Mons. Abel Di Marco where we learned on how to sing this particular type of music. Another experience if we flash forward to mid november with this group “ArsAntiqua” which we specialize in Renaissance Choral music we had our first public performance, which was part of the Opening activities of the Re inauguration of the Ponce Art Museum. After all this Summer was a very productive one since I had the chance to experiment with different choristers, and specially different  genres of the choral repertoire.

This Fall semester I had the chance take/be a part of, like 6 other fellow musicians, the Choral Conducting I course, which is the last music course that offers the PUCPR for the Music Department. If I had to describe the course is… pretty hard… the only words that can I fathom are.. stressful, challenging, rewarding, awesome, etc. This is an amazingly challenging course because, first of all the choir is used for only ONE conductor aka: Ruben who has been the conductor for almost 18 years, also you are a rookie (even though if have been dreaming of conducting a choir since you’ve graduated since high school like me) and this is one of the many challenges you encounter. This course is an eye opener because… for the first time you know and feel what your teacher feels like, like for example when you get frustrated because the music is behind, etc. It is also an experience *even if you don’t or don’t peruse choral conducting as a career** (because the true of the matter is that if you are an Education Major and if you go to a public or private school you have to conduct the choir…) But as part of being a conductor (and as a musician) is to.. PERFORM, which happened last Sunday December 5th, 2010, in which is the traditional debut of the student conductors in which I conducted a Venezuela Traditional Christmas Song called “El Niño Criollo” a Choral Arrangement by Caron Montaguatelli, where it describes Jesus Christ as a Venezuelan Child dressed in traditional clothes..

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A fun fact was that through the semester one of my first music teacher who we call out of love Fombe, called me and she basically gave me a song to conduct at the prestigious La Perla Theater in their annual Christmas Concert, this was an absolute shocker!!!!! ME, conduct where!? jajajaja I still can’t believe that actually happened  because there was still students who I know since I was a student there, from when I started music long ago in 2002. To be frank it was another amazing experience and they want for me to be a guest conductor for their Spring Concert in May, which is mind boggling!!! In that

Concert I conducted a christmas song called “Llevame a ver a Jesus” a SATB arrangement by Noel Estrada.  I wish that this continues… whether it be conducting the IMJMC Concert Choir, sing with ArsAntiqua and along the Choral Municipal Choir (which I am a part of since this semester, this is the only municipal group in Puerto Rico, and it sings beside the Ponce Municipal Band, both are conducted by Ruben Colon Tarrats)

I’m sure that a lot of great things will happen this new semester and year!

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