Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stamps-Baxter - Day 6

Today seemed at least a week long. We started with devotions at 8:00 am (Aunt Faye was back. Yay!) and performance opportunity just ended now at 10:30 pm. I'm so tired, and I need to get back to the room soon to make my nightly phone call home, and get enough sleep for tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we will record the school cd. It will be full of the convention songs we've been singing all week. So, as you can imagine, group singing was especially intense today. We start recording at 8:30 am tomorrow, so I'm planning to get up a little earlier so I can have a nice long warm up.
It was great to get back at things today. Theory was great. Over the weekend, we had to write a 4 bar melody and harmonize it. I did my 'homework' version, and then I did 'my' version, with a couple of extra grace notes and such. I got Tracey to check both versions, and with the exception of a "frustrated leading tone", I did well. She played it for me, and I'm pretty happy with how it sounded too. We also did some rhythmic work with writing and clapping different rhythms, so that was easy for me.

I had no private lessons today, but I've been continuing work on my song for Daryl's class. I think I have the lyric complete, so I'll bring that in tomorrow. Then I'll finish shaping the tune so I can try and finish it this week.

Today we had a representative from Singing News Magazine come to the school. Singing News is the southern gospel magazine. I've been getting it for a year, and I just love it. Anyways, they're going to do an article on Stamps-Baxter some time over the next year, and they came today to do interviews and pictures. Ben wanted a cross-section of students interviewed, and I was one of the students he chose! We were interviewed in a group, and asked about how we found out about the school, what have we learned, etc. I was asked about how I felt when I won the scholarship. I told him and I nearly started to cry. It still makes me so emotional! I also told him how my life has changed since coming to Stamps-Baxter - how I've given all my art and music to God, and how I've started a music ministry in Toronto. I told him I didn't want him to think I was bragging, because I know I'm not the only person who has made that choice because of their time here. I think it's such a great legacy, and I think lots of people should know that.

Let's be honest, we all know how interviews work. They interview and photograph lots of us, and then in the final edit, some of us will end up on the cutting room floor. That's not negative, just honest. (Pacifier!) But the truth is, I'm just honoured to be asked. I'm thrilled that Ben would consider my opinions worthy to represent the school. Of course ... it would also be pretty cool to see my name in Singing News!

Every spare minute today was filled with quartet and duet rehearsals. We performed the quartet for Jack Clark, my awesome and brilliant theory teacher of last year. He gave us some great feedback, and we also spent some time on a little choreography. (And yes, I do mean little. We're not Signature Sound!)

We brought the duet to Scott's voice teacher, Reggie Smith. (The same Reggie from last week's concert.) He's sung the song before, so he had some really specific feedback for us. We're going to do the song in Allison's class tomorrow.

Tonight's concert was awesome! In my head, I have titled it "Speerfest!". It started as an Allison Durham Speer solo concert, and that in itself was incredible. What a singer! She did some classics, and then introduced some songs from her new cd. She did "Upon this Rock", which is the same track that I sing. Wow! I was going to sing it while I'm here, but probably not now! I love her because she just continues to raise the bar higher and higher.

Halfway through the concert, she pulls up Ben, and they do a few duets, and Ben treated us to the always lovely "Suppertime". Then the whole family comes up on stage: Mary Tom, Rosa Nell, Aunt Faye, Tim Reid, and also Mike Allen. It was awesome! Rosa Nell just tore up the piano, and we had several rounds of "Didn't it Rain", each one more wild than the next. The show ended with Allison and Ben singing "Because He Lives", and no one does it better than them.

Just an awesome and inspiring and exhausting and full-full-full day! I'm so glad I'm here!


Anonymous said...

I'm realy glad you're there,too!!


Anonymous said...

My computer sparks everytime I read your blogs!! The energy that comes off the page is amazing. Your writing is so engaging and such an easy read!
Reading your blogs is like being there - I hope you come back with tapes!