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Stephen Sondheim

In honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday, 3/22/2020 I love Stephen Sondheim’s musicals. I love his music. I love his lyrics. Two of his musicals, Into The Woods and Company make my top 10 favorite musicals list. But I have to confess, this wasn’t always the case. <Gasp> Besides, West Side Story and Gypsy, for …

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Who could ask for anything more?!

Fittingly, an opera singer introduced me to the music of George Gershwin. My first exposure to his glorious music was an album entitled “Kiri sings Gershwin.” That’s Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, international opera star, to you. She was the toast of the opera world at the time, rightly so, and was everywhere in the 1980s. …

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One size does NOT fit all

  One more post about repertoire:   One of my favorite things to do is find repertoire, both for me and for my students, for anyone, really. It can be a wonderful treasure hunt. You never know where it will lead you or what you will find! I think I like the search as much …

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How to choose the perfect song

So, how does one choose the right repertoire? 1. You do NOT get points for trying, meaning: Always choose a song completely within your ability level. It will not show you off to your best advantage if you attempt to sing something that is too hard for you. This does not mean that you can’t …

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Choosing a Song: Making Mistakes Part 2

The subject of selecting repertoire resurfaced in September after I judged the Youth Division (10-17 yr. olds) at the Oregon State Fair talent competition. There were two basic problems with 99% of the singers’ song choices: They almost all sang inappropriate repertoire for their youthful ages. The difficulty level of their songs was generally just …

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Choosing a song: Making Mistakes Part 1

I have had at least 5 different conversations with 5 different people in the last month on the multi-layered topic of choosing repertoire, for young singers in particular. This is a subject near and dear to my heart as both a singer and a teacher because I know first-hand how incredibly important it is; song …