Find greatness. Hang out with greatness. – Deborah Sobol, Rush Hour Concerts
I spent a summer in Graz, Austria hanging on to every word spoken by Harold Heiberg. He taught at the AIMS summer festival for 34 years and was a fount of knowledge on many topics but especially German Lieder. His scholarly devotion to the genre goes unmatched in my years of education and singing. Sadly, I learned of his passing this evening. I am heartened, though, to know that his legacy lives on in so many voices across the world. He was an excellent mentor and an excellent soul. It is interesting that during our morning session with Deborah Sobol of Rush Hour Concerts she spoke so eloquently about finding mentors of different generations that not only guide you musically but help form your understanding of the human experience.
All the things that feed great art all come from human uncertainty. – Deborah Sobol
As part of the fresh inc festival we had the opportunity to perform today at Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center overlooking Millennium Park. The concert was a mixture of new and old featuring compositions by Handel and Prokofiev alongside contemporary works such as Garrett Schumann’s “A Five-Note Chord: Seen from the Porch of a Curious Mind” performed by Latitude 49 as well as fresh inc participant composer Grace Xu Schott‘s “The Oak.” I had the sincere pleasure of performing Grace’s piece with her at the piano. If you ever have the opportunity to sing in Preston Bradley Hall, do not pass it up! The acoustics under that Tiffany dome are luxurious.
Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Then; and then
All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
We also had a session on social media marketing with James Buckhouse, Director of Corporate Design at Twitter. He gave us superb insights into building our personal brands – which is a topic most of you know I love to discuss at-length. He encouraged us to tell our stories via social media using the three-act structure: conflict, development, and resolution (also ultimately transformation.) I found this last addition to be the most compelling part of his talk and in light of tonight’s blog post, the area on which I want to focus. “Why should anyone on earth care about coming to see you perform?” James prodded. I trust that Professor Heiberg was asking us the same question those years ago. It is never, and was never, just about singing the phrases or pronouncing the German correctly. It was about much more and still is today. It is about transformation – not simply a transformation that I ask of my audience – but of my own. A transformation that is shared. A transformation passed from generation to generation.
Ending with a solution isn’t enough. There must be a transformation… If we get a little bit of help we can all come out transformed. – James Buckhouse