By Amy Kathleen Miller
I have been getting ready for a concert with the West Valley Symphony of Utah and we will be performing with the Choral Arts Society of Utah this weekend.
Featuring internationally acclaimed pianist Paul Cardall, we will be performing at Cottonwood High School at 5715 South 1300 East in Salt Lake City Saturday, December 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at a Smith’s store location.
We will be featured on television — a first at least for me. We have been told that there will be about five cameras recording the program while we are playing. I sit on the outside among the first violins, so that is enough to make anyone feel as though they are a bit apprehensive. The television station that this will be airing on is KUTV Channel 2. This will most definitely cause me to take that music home on the days we are not rehearsing and really getting down to the business of educating myself to play a little more accelerated, if you get my drift.
The music is sensational to listen to, but I can’t listen too closely or I might lose my place in the music. That happened last night. While we were rehearsing “Little Drummer Boy” — one of the songs that was arranged by our conductor, Donny Gilbert — I was focusing so much on hearing our pianist playing that I completely lost my place. I can’t do that on the evening of the concert, can I?
It is so pleasant to hear a professional, large choir with the symphony playing that I am almost humming the music while playing. I joined the symphony to become a better player on the violin, to learn new techniques. I can tell you that is definitely happening here. Since I was placed in the first violin section, I am playing in a high stratosphere on the violin. The notes are so high that I am surprised that people can hear them. Okay, I am getting a bit silly here, but I am learning to play in a much higher placement on the violin fingerboard. It really helps me when I am working with my students on how they play their violin and I don’t regret joining the symphony, even though sometimes the music is on the challenging side for me, but I am getting better and a little more courageous and confident on my instrument, which is definitely what I wanted.
As a singer, it is fun to occasionally sing with the symphony but it is a little disappointing that I won’t be singing a solo Christmas song. This is my favorite time of the year to sing. If I had sung, the directors wouldn’t have been disappointed at all because I sing Christmas songs so much that they are practically memorized and performed over and over again, year after year, by me. Classically sung or jazzy Christmas songs — I love to sing either way and ham it up with showmanship. It is what I was trained to do and I love to do it. I have put on a whole concert before, but I could not resist using some of my student singers as well and letting them be young show people themselves. It was quite charming to see them perform as well. It is all about not just my ability to sing but the younger generation being able to show its stuff too. And it is fun to watch the talents that are emerging in the younger kids. To be honest, it is also fun to see the kids perform because they are cute to watch.
Editor’s Note: “Amy’s Angle” is a Wednesday feature in this blog.
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