At the Symposium (Day 2–or is it 3?)

Tuesday was very busy.  Last minute details that always seem to crop up.  Sessions were interesting with lively discussion, especially a couple that dealt with Newfoundland musical history.

My presentation came that afternoon.  I’d put together a slideshow with pix and musical examples, then ended up not using most of it.  Surprisingly, when I asked how many of the audience attendees had either studied or performed a spiritual, they all raised their hands.  So, that changed the focus from presenting on the basics to getting into specific decisions on when I use dialect, choose to swing the melody and other stylistic considerations.  We also talked a bit about some of the recordings and in-print music scores available–recommending both the Hall Johnson collection and Willis Patterson compilation.  My audience was, as expected, all White, so we also dealt with the concern about non-Blacks singing spirituals. As I only had 30 minutes and had added Johnson’s “Witness” to the song list of Burleigh’s “Deep River,” Hale Smith’s “I Want to Die Easy,” and the “Toccata” from John Carter’s Cantata, the presentation was not as in-depth as I’d have liked, but I think the salient issues were at least touched upon.

I’m afraid I didn’t record the presentation and, thus, can only judge it by the audience reaction.  They seemed very responsive and complimentary of my performance.  Thankfully, too, the pianist adjusted well to my way of singing, and she managed the John Carter “Toccata” well enough–which was more than most would have been able to do.  I pushed it right to the edge time-wise, so those who wanted to talk further and I had to go into the hallway to allow the next presenter the hall.  One of them was a Florida State alumna who did her doctoral work in vocal performance.  Talk about a small world!!

Had dinner at a Chinese restaurant then called it a night.  Wednesday is the last day for my part of the conference.  Best get going.

Related Post

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.