An In Between

Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for the delay with the blog posts.

This week has been both extremely exhilarating and blessedly busy, and I have not had the time to sit down to organize pictures and to write. When I do sit down with the good intentions of doing so, my brain switches off and my eyes pulls its shutters down.

Indeed, the posts are coming. I will write on the bus and on the plane and once we get back to the large land mass with the Jersey that is New.

For now, all I can say is that it has been an absolutely breath-taking experience and I am so grateful for what has taken place this past week.

But we’ll keep all the sentimental mumbo jumbo for later. Until the next post then, my friends (which WILL come, I promise!).

About choralmusicinstitute

Presented by Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Oxford University's St. Stephen's House, the one-week institute provides instruction to all levels of conductors.
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One Response to An In Between

  1. James Jordan says:

    Dear Readers of the Blog!

    I hope that you will look for Kirin’s blog postings. We have been incredibly busy…as in 12 hour days and the Internet here is a bit of an issue. Suffice it to say that this has been one of the events of my life, and I dare say for all the participants that has transformed our lives. Aside from the teaching that went on here, the members of Williamson Voices because teachers, mentors and bonded friends to all the conductors. Their comments, help, advice to ALL the conductors would have brought tears to anyone’s eyes who had witnessed it. The gave of themselves equally to all the conductors. Add to this our “additional” experience of singing the Britten “St. Nicolas” in Lancing College Chapel where it was premiered by Britten 50 years almost to the day conducted by James Whitbourn was an experience that, again, defies being described. The British tenor, Nicolas Pritchett sant St. Nicolas….profound and stunning. Corey Everly put into shape the Gallery choirs which was inspirational to me as a teacher. and, if as if that is enough, Williamson Voices sang one of the finest performances of “Rejoice in the Lamb” with our own Mary Copley! (She too was simply amazing.” And, if that wasn’t enough, we sang the European premier of Thomas Lavoy’s Alleluia and sang the world premiere of James Whitbourn’s “Agnus Dei” a commission for this event looking forward to upcoming anniversaries of World War I and World War II. Exhausting????? Yes. Exhilarating—–beyond belief. Through all of this, there is Jonathan Lakeland, our accompanist and my musical partner who shepherded us through everything.

    The final days were marked by performances by all 20 conductors of the Institute. I cannot remember a more exhilarating evening in my teaching career. EVERY one of the conductors had been transformed by the spirit of St. Stephen’s…our Westminster in Oxford, by the teaching and guiding of this great faculty, and by our incredible students in Williamson Voices. And, oh yes, did I mention the Britten Song Recital where members of the choir showed their solo hand. Oh dear, if my colleagues in the voice department had heard this, how deeply proud they would have been of OUR students and OUR school. Lest I never forget of their incredible passion and teaching that makes this all possible.

    As I have told everyone in the Institute, this program, or one like it has been a dream of mine for many years, and a dream of James Whitbourn. The stars were truly with us because, somehow, someway, we managed to create what I feel is now one of the finest immersion/experiental programs for the Study of choral ARTISTRY in the world. What makes this program singularly unique is that participants can feel things we sometimes can only talk about…connection, care, and the community that is choral music.

    I cannot thank all our supporters who stepped forward to help us with their contributions for our students and this program. Our Monday evening closing performance ended with many tears, deep appreciation from EACH conductor for their own obvious transformations, and a general genuflection for the gift of being together in this place that is called St. Stephen’s. Dreams do become reality….But this dream has deeply changed ALL of us.

    In the cloister that winds around the quad at St. Stephen’s, they are installing Leaded glass windows. The choir has purchased a window. It will read: From the Westminster Williamson Voices of Westminster Choir College, James Jordan. In Tribute to what this place has given us. Our college seal as well as this message above will be embedded on the window closest to our Chapel, so that succeeding years of students and conductors will be reminded not only of this Institute, but of our maiden voyage. It will be “The Westminster Williamson Voices Window.”

    We are all changed, and we are all deeply humbled by our work together.

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