Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stamps-Baxter - Day 1

Okay, first for my guitar update: I love my husband!

Seemly unrelatedly facts, but read on...

This morning, my honey called to see if the guitar is still under warranty, and it is! If I bring it back to Toronto, the repairs will be covered by the manufacturer! So happy! It took hours to get any info from the airline about making a claim, and then they told me it would take 4-6 weeks to even get a proper response. But the guitar is so new that Gerald figured the warranty would still fit and voila! I am just so relieved that it will be taken care of with some speed and without expense. I just couldn't stomach the idea of spending hundreds of dollars right now, not to mention having to deal with the airline.

On a wonderfully related note, someone has lent me a guitar for my stay at Stamps-Baxter. So awesome and generous!

Well, today was long and great. We started with devotions with the always elegant Aunt Faye, who reminded us to be true to ourselves all week, and not be tempted to copy others who we might believe to be more talented that us. (Whew! Bad sentence structure!)

Then we were all put in theory classes. I'm in Shawn Degenhart's class, and our focus will be writing SATB parts. (For the non-musical, that the parts sung when men and women sing together in 4 part harmony.) The first part of the day went a little over my head. Everyone else in the class is a keyboard player, so I feel they're speaking a different language sometimes. But I've been told that this is the right class for me, so I'm sticking it out and planning on asking tonnes of questions.

I had my first private voice lesson of the week with the amazing Glen Wilson. Glen came highly recommended to me, and I'm so thrilled to be working with him this week. He's crazy in all the best ways. He made me reach down to touch my toes, while singing, and then he pushed me into a wall, again while singing. Don't laugh too hard - the man clearly knows what he's doing. I sang a very easy high D today. Hello!

There's a change in schedule this year, so next we had group singing. Group singing! I love it! How many people get to sing every day with 200 other people? It's just awesome. We have a different song book from last year, so the first few days will be all about learning new songs. Next week, we'll do the recording, so this time is so important for developing a good blend in the group.

Fabulous and amazing news: I can sing shape-notes!!!! Seriously! I'm clearly no expert. I can't pick up a piece of music and just sight-read the shapes acapella. But when we're sight-singing a song with the piano, I can not just read the song, but I can sing the shape-note names! It's sooo much fun! Now that I've got it, I get frustrated when one the conductors skips the shape notes. Bring 'em on! I can take them!

Oh, and a small but interesting piece of info. The chicken today, not fried! Has the devil learned to skate?

Oh, but let's go back to one more wonderful thing: I've been asked to sing a duet with someone. And not just any duet. "I've Just Seen Jesus". Such a thrilling song! More to come on this...

This afternoon was more theory. My head is spinning. We're learning "figured bass". Don't ask.

This afternoon also started our time with the always awesome Allison Durham Speer. She started with 30 minutes of vocal technique, and then opened the floor to performance training. I'm planning on singing tomorrow.

Tonight was more group singing, and then outside for the school photo. After, we had our first concert, performed by Darlene Neptune. Darlene is an expert on the life and music of Fanny Crosby, so she opened with a little story about Blessed Assurance, and then invited us to all sing along. Such a great hymn! Actually, part of her concert was a little hymn-sing, so that was great. We even sang Peace in the Valley. *sigh*

After the concert, we had the first "performance opportunity". This is when any student can get up and sing. I chose to stay quiet tonight. I'm just so tired with the traveling and the guitar trials. I have many plans to sing over the next few weeks, but not tonight. Tonight is quiet and a phone call home and an early night...

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