Monday, April 26, 2004

how is it sunday of fourth week

it's concert day! looking over my music i am simultaneously surprised at how much i know and how much is left unlearned. i'm just going to have to wing some of it, a feeling that made me totally unsettled our first concert, but that i am completely acclimatised to by now.

i meant to blog a couple of comments about our guest conductor, robert sinclair, on friday, but i guess i got caught up in banana-nut-muffins. :) anyway. his style of handling a choir -not conducting, which he does with a baton and which i find vaguely unsettling as a result- is much like mr toh. more precise than randi's, muchmuch more precise, and demanding. he wants the choir to do what is written on the score, which doesn't sound like much until you realise how much randi lets us slide on following dynamics and other notation on the score. how much he just wants us to read notes and get the big picture right, without caring about the details.

but sinclair -- ah, that's a conductor i can work with, if only he would throw away his baton. (i hate batons. i like conductors who conduct with their hands, because it feels so much more natural being directed that way. more organic, less beating time.) yelling for us to read the score, look UP from the score, to watch him and do what he says with his hands (baton). taking it at the speed -he- wants to take it, not at the speed we've been drilled in.

i'm reminded of the times when the RGS choir or RJ chorale would have a guest conductor come in, and we would marvel at how different we sounded under the hands of some stranger, rather than our familiar mr toh, or ms loo. sometimes we even sounded better, because we weren't sloppy 'cos we're accustomed to the way he/she conducts. i never realised how important that is until friday, when the Motet tried very hard to sound exactly the same under sinclair's baton as we do under randi's hands, despite them having very different conducting styles and requirements.

i don't think i've ever been as amazed at the quality of the raffles choirs as i was just thinking about them on friday afternoon.

anyway. it's almost time for me to get changed and get ready to head over for preconcert rehearsal (by which i mean pack Parson's A Certain Idea of Europe to read while we wait). wish us luck!


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