Friday, June 5, 2009

...denn ihre Werke folgen ihnen nach

The first major project of the summer for al-Kamandjati is the Summer Music Days Festival, in which they are putting on 100(!) concerts of classical all across the West Bank in 10(!) days. The Choir of London will be coming as guests to Ramallah, and they will combine with a group of Palestinians to sing Brahms's German Requiem. Quite a few of the vocalist students in al-Kamandjati are involved in this; as anyone who knows about classical music would realize the fact that any teenager can keep up with this piece is remarkable!

I was invited by the singing teacher at al-Kamandjati, Julia, to go to the rehearsal of the piece at Bethlehem University in Bethlehem. Instead of just standing there recording the rehearsal and taking pictures I decided to sing along with the bass part, which turned out to be fine because the rest of the choir was sight-reading as well. The priest leading the choir agreed to let me do an interview with him next week so I could get more details on his history with the choir.

I will also be performing the Vaughan Williams songs for oboe and soprano, and maybe other pieces. The last few days have also been spent reorganizing the library, and I found that it is amazingly extensive; all the major pieces of the solo repertoire for all instruments are present as well as a huge number of orchestra pieces. I'm continually impressed with the resources of al-Kamandjati and the way that they are able to operate.

I have a few interviews coming up in the next few days which I will post writeups of as they happen.

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