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A great arts experience

I am a math teacher who sings. I taught 6th grade math for three years at a school for recent immigrants. While the school had dance, PE, and chess classes, there were no music classes.

Modern technology applied to choir music

Contemporary American Composer Eric Whitacre, who won a Grammy earlier this year for his album Light and Gold, has also become famous in the virtual world for his "virtual choir performances." Whitacre has created an innovative performance style, creating one "choir" by combining audio and video recordings of individual singers. He starts by recording a video of himself conducting one of his compositions and calls on singers from across the globe to submit recordings of themselves singing their voice part.

Teaching math through music

Fractions are the bane of my existence.

Don't get me wrong – I love math and understand fractions quite well. Quick: ask me. What's half of 1/8? Yes, I have it memorized.

Fractions are the bane of my existence because they are SO hard to teach to children. I taught 6th grade math for three years and fractions was always the worst unit of the year.

Morten Lauridsen's Transcendent Music and Gentle Spirit

Last night I had the incredible opportunity to attend a special screening of the movie Shining Night: A Portrait of the Composer Morten Lauridsen, followed by a special Question and Answer session with Mr. Lauridsen and with the film’s director, Michael Stillwater.

Salute the Arts

WNYC, New York City's top public radio station (and home to NPR) has a special program called the Salute the Arts (STAR) Initiative, through which they feature three non-profit arts organizations each month. Starting today and running for the next four weeks, the New York City Master Chorale will be one of the featured organizations!

YouTube Channel Updates!

The New York City Master Chorale has uploaded three new videos to it's YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/nycmasterchorale. Please check them out! The videos are from the Chorale's April 2011 performance of Paul Leavitt's Requiem in Washington, DC at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation with the Lutheran Church of the Reformation Festival Chorus and Orchestra.

The Super Bowl and Music

The Super Bowl this past Sunday was a big deal in New York, with our hometown Giants' big win. But the Super Bowl is now about so much more than just football: it's an excuse to get together with friends and eat lots of food, and it's a time for us to connect to pop culture. The halftime show and advertisements are often discussed more than the game itself! After all, it is the biggest media and advertising opportunity of the year, with companies spending huge sums of money and many hours to come up with the most inventive, creative advertisements.

New Repertoire

The New York City Master Chorale is now entering its sixth week of rehearsals of our new repertoire, in preparation for our April 26 concert at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center. This concert, titled "Water and Night" focuses on a series of pieces themed on water and night, and includes works by major contemporary composers including Steven Paulus, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, and Moses Hogan. It is an exciting and engaging set of music. In addition, we will be premiering a piece written for the Chorale by Paul Leavitt, whose stunning Requiem we performed last year.

Festive holidays

Our concert last Friday was a wonderful experience. It was such a joy to perform our holiday concert with an orchestra, especially such a talented one. I heard from audience members that this felt like our most festive holiday concert ever; I attribute that to the choice of music and the bold, brass sound that we associate with the holidays. It was certainly festive music to perform!

Concert week!

Our holiday concert, MAGNIFICAT, will be held this Friday and I am so very excited. Last week we rehearsed with the orchestra - what a wonderful experience that was! The orchestra is full of very talented musicians and it was such a privilege to rehearse with them. One of our singers even said that he had to write a note in the margin of his music to remind himself to sing - and not just listen in awe of the beauty of the orchestra.

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