Friday, September 26, 2008

Singing in the May Festival Chorus

Several weeks ago, I auditioned for the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus at the urging of my family and former vocal coaches. I got the callback, so I'm officially a new member of the choir!

We are performing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra throughout the season, with the first performance being Mahler's Symphony #2 on October 17 & 18. We will also be performing with the CSO with repertoire including Holst, Brahms German Requiem & others.

This is, in a nutshell, my dream gig. I have a degree in vocal music but I've never wanted to turn it into a job. With the May Festival Chorus--the oldest chorus in the Western Hemisphere with a nationally acclaimed director--I can perform challenging music with professional musicians but not rely on it to pay the rent.

After several rehearsals with the group, I can see why they are held in such high esteem. Every member seems to be fluent in the major operatic languages, able to sight-sing difficult music at the drop of a hat, and blends beautifully. I am so excited to be a part of this group! As performances approach I'll keep you updated and see if I can post some audio samples from our performances.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And as an afterthought to the previous post...

I watched CNN today, and saw that much of the Sarah Palin conversation centered around this: As a mother of 5, can she handle the duties of Vice President?

Hold the phone. Wait. Really? Has anyone ever said, "Gee, Obama has 2 young girls. Do you think he can really handle the duties of President with two children to raise?" Of course not.

This is the most sexist argument I've heard in a long time. And no one seems to even blink. Are we seriously that far behind? It's perfectly normal for a father to run for office with young kids, but when a mother enters the race, suddenly it's a hot topic issue.

I'm honestly astonished that no one seems to notice the utter sexism and double-standard of this argument. Her children are a non-issue. She should not have to defend her viability as a mother because she wants to serve her country.

Think, America.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Political Bone to Pick

I am not a political "hothead". I believe in everyone from the extreme liberals to the extreme conservatives having the right to believe what they want (though I agree with neither). I honestly don't care how you vote -- just vote.

That being said, I am somewhat bewildered by McCain's VP pick. Does anyone else find this baffling? Sarah Palin did good things while she was in Alaska, but something just doesn't seem right.

For starters, she's only 44. She has very little experience. Isn't McCain's entire campaign based around dismissing political newbies (i.e. Obama)? Doesn't this make his entire argument moot? As a town mayor and governor for 2 years, Sarah Palin doesn't exactly fit the lifetime-of-experience mold.

It was an obvious attempt to appeal to the Hillary swing voters, who might be more inclined to vote where there is a woman on the ticket. I have to ask the question: If Sarah Palin was a man, would he be anywhere near the presidential ticket?

Second, there was an article in the NY Times about McCain vetting Ms. Palin only one day before the VP nomination. He knew so little about her, and according to the article the McCain camp barely made the effort to check her out before throwing her name on the ticket. For someone who touts judgement, McCain did not seem to do his homework.

I hate to bring up this argument (it's too speculative), but at 72, McCain's health comes into question. He really does seem to be in great health. But things happen, and any presidential candidate--72 or not--could be a mere heartbeat away from passing on. The VP needs to be just as strong as the President.

Palin is already under suspicion for "abusing her power" to fire an ex-relative. And for hiring lobbyists. These could very well prove to be false, but the last thing the McCain camp needs is a VP who turns out to be not-so squeaky clean.

I'm interested to see how this one plays out.