Monday, May 18, 2009

End of Year One!

Dear Colloquium classmates,

Attached please find my handout for Ulston's and my presentation of J.S. Bach's "St. Matthew Passion," BWV 244.

Noted conductor Helmuth Rilling, in his conductor's analysis of the Passion, denounces the practice of shortening it in performance by stating the following:

"It must be said... that one cannot condense a work of three and one-half hours duration to two and one-half hours and then claim to have performed the St. Matthew Passion."

Well, on Tuesday, Ulston and I will be attempting to condense it into sixty minutes. Ahem... kindly do read this handout ahead of time!



I am sitting in the now-deserted basement of Bridwell Library, and can happily report that I am all done my first year of grad school!

Except for summer school... dang.

The end of term was packed, hectic, challenging and, for the most part, a lot of fun. The beginning of the end came with a presentation in Church Music Colloquium on the St. Matthew Passion. Ulston and I were responsible for presenting on the reception history, performance practice, issues of performance, notation, theology, liturgical context, form, libretto and historical context of this masterwork of Bach in a one-hour seminar presentation. In approaching the novel-sized full score, Ulston and I were not bitter at all that other groups in our class were assigned works of fifteen or twenty pages. We were also not at all daunted by the fact that our prof Dr. Anderson, who you will remember was a fountain of Bach knowledge during our preparation of Jesu, Meine Freude, informed me that the St. Matthew Passion is his favouritest piece of music ever.

Well, in preparing for such a giant presentation, I did what any sensible student in my position would do – I convinced David to format my handout and slide presentation for me. Ahhh... you have no idea how good it looked. The presentation itself went very well, and both profs told me later that they wouldn't have assigned this work to any other pair (go us).

After that, the end of term came very fast. I'm of course very happy to have the final crunch time over with, but it all got done and – you will be relieved to know – I passed all my courses. Now I am enjoying a bit of a slower couple of weeks before launching into Dr. Anderson's intensive summer analysis course. Yeah... wish me luck.

David and I got to sing with the Seminary Singers at this year's graduation ceremony for Perkins. In a very surprising turn of events, (while I'm bragging about how cool I am,) I was also informed that I would be receiving an award during the ceremony - the Roger Deschner Prize in Sacred Music. It was fun to be a part of the graduation and see what it will be like when it's my turn, in only a year! The time has gone by fast.

Us at graduation!

Current and graduating MSMs!

It has been an amazing first year here at Perkins. I think I am creating a niche for myself at First Pres, and I have some really exciting opportunities coming in my second year. This programme has turned out to be all I hoped it would be and much more, and I am really excited at the academic and practical skills I am developing.

And don't worry, I don`t plan to get soft over the summer:

Dear Hilary:

On behalf of the Executive Committee, it is my great pleasure to advise you that you have been awarded a Lovelace Scholarship for The Hymn Society's annual conference at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, 12-16 July 2009.

This year's group of nine Lovelace Scholars includes students from eight institutions, who are pursuing a wide range of studies from a bachelor's degree to a Ph.D. We hope you will find it stimulating to be part of such an exciting group.


Carl Daw

1 comment:

shortbreadannie said...

We are all so proud of you! Well done! - Can hardly believe your first year is over. Congrats on the scholarship!
with lots of love,