Listen to the podcast:
The following excerpt is from WMNF's website http://lifeelsewhere.co/2014/09/25/a-listener-programs-life-elsewhere/
The latest Life Elsewhere Podcast is available now! Featuring Dr. James Bass, GRAMMY-nominated singer and conductor. Dr. Bass is the director of choral studies at the School of Music at the University of South Florida and the artistic director of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Dr. Bass discusses choral music with Norman B at the suggestion of Kerry Travilla-Bown, an enthusiastic devotee of Life Elsewhere, who co-produced the show.Ms Travilla-Bown had responded to a request during the last fund-drive at WMNF, (the station where Life Elsewhere is produced), for listeners to to make a generous contribution and in return they would be able to co-produce an edition of the program. Kerry also kindly selected River Man for the Hit That Never Was, by the talented and influential but sadly long-departed Nick Drake. Dr. Bass explains that Drake is believed to have been keen on echoing the evocative music of Delius and Ravel. Coincidentally, The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and The Florida Orchestra released: Delius: Appalachia; Sea Drift in 2012.
Interview on WMNF LifeElsewhere - Dr. James Bass Explains Choral Music & Nick Drake’s Link To Delius & Ravel
You won't want to miss this interesting interview of our Music and Artistic Director, Dr. James K. Bass, on WMNF 88.5 co-produced by Master Chorale singer Kerry Travilla-Bown!
This past Friday and Saturday, we welcomed 250 wonderful High School choral students representing 23 different schools from around Florida to the USF School of Music. After a day and a half of intensive rehearsals, these students put on a great concert with the USF choirs and members of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.
Thank you so much to all of our volunteers for helping put on another tremendously successful and rewarding Festival. Thanks also to members of Kappa Kappa Psi for their help ushering the concert.
Many thanks to Master Chorale singer, Carol Conner, for the photos!
We're already busy getting ready for FESTIVAL OF VOICES!
THANK YOU Phi Mu Alpha for helping make the FOV Student Folders and preparing the Student Festival of Voices Certificates of Participation this morning!
By Brian Hathaway
We had an awesome Master Chorale rehearsal Tuesday evening! We began the process of turning those notes in the score into music. One hundred sixty voices strong, we rehearsed several choruses. Section by section, we dissected the music, focusing on the intonation, phrasing, articulation and dynamics required to convert spots on a page into a memorable performance.
Being in a choir, we address a component of the music that many of our orchestral colleagues may not give a lot of thought to...the words. Choir singers, must give careful consideration to them. Failure to devote the proper amount of attention can lead to a sound that is unintelligible to the audience. The words also give meaning to the music and we use them to convey the poetry and drama that resides in the text.
Since the words convey a message, I use my score study time to understand precisely what I am singing about. With “Carmina Burana”, this is great fun, as the texts reveal a lot of “interesting” thoughts. Written by the Goliards, traveling scholars who were clerics, the earthy and ribald poems reveal facets of life in the 12th and 13th centuries, the time long past that comes alive once again for us.
The chorus entitled “Were diu Werlt alle min” is a good example. The translation reads in part: “Were all the world mine from the sea to the Rhine…I would starve myself of it to have the Queen of England lying in my arms!” What?? This Goliard probably wrote these words after having a few too many flagons of mead! Instead of coveting the buxom maid delivering those flagons to his table, he decides that he would rather have the Queen of England as his paramour! Indeed!!
Then, I gave this a second thought. Some of the Goliards did travel throughout Europe, so perhaps he would have encountered the Queen, but which Queen? Andreas Capellanus, a 12th century French Chaplain mentioned in his book that there was one Queen who maintained what was known as “The Court of Love” at her castle in Poitiers from 1168 to 1173. She lived from 1137 to 1204. She was very well-educated; spoke multiple languages, and studied math, history, astronomy, and music.
Renowned for her beauty, Bernard de Ventadour, a noted troubadour, called her "gracious, lovely, the embodiment of charm". She was married to two kings, the first being King Louis VII of France. The marriage was later annulled because she bore him no sons. She then married King Henry II of England. With Henry II she had nine children, including three English Kings. She was even rumored to have had an affair with Geoffrey Plantagenet, Henry’s father prior to their marriage. Geoffrey, the story goes, warned Henry to stay away from this woman, whom he viewed as dangerous. She was by all accounts the most famous, beautiful and powerful woman in all of Europe.
Now this is someone I can picture as I sing this chorus! Can you imagine the conceit of this poet as he fantasizes being with the most famous woman in all of Europe? Now here is somebody with real ambition, a sense of vision, if you will. Hey I can relate to this poet! As I sing this chorus, I will think of only you, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine!
“Were all the world mine from the sea to the Rhine…I would starve myself of it to have the Queen of England lying in my arms!” “Hey!!”
USF Festival of Voices is a 2-day workshop for High School choral students conducted by Dr. James K. Bass and Dr. Bryon Grohman culminating in a Finale Concert presented in collaboration with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Students sing side-by-side with members of USF choral ensembles and The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Festival of Voices consistently draws 350+ high school choral students from over 30 schools representing 8 counties in Florida.
One month left to submit Christmas Carol Compositions for our annual competition! Submissions are due by October 1st.
Every year The Master Chorale holds a national Christmas Carol Composition Competition consistently attracting 30+ completely original entries from all over the country. Composers submit their compositions for a chance to have their work premiered by The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay on The Florida Orchestra's Home for the Holidays concert program (est. to reach over 8,400 people). The winner of the competition also receives a modest cash prize. Details are linked below.
Best of luck to all of the composers entering the contest!
The Master Chorale Beat