I had a concert on Friday night with one of the college choirs. I am also looking forward to Tuesday night's high school concert. (There's been a lot of stuff going on lately!)really fun. Concerts are always exciting. Standing in front of a choir is always both scary and exhilarating. So many things go through my head as I'm walking to the podium--the tempo, for one (haha), the things we've done right in rehearsal that I want to make sure we don't do wrong now, and the things we've done not as well that we want to nail this time. The eyes of the performers on you...it's an honor to have that kind of focus and trust from all the people in the choir. Not to mention the accompanist or anyone else who's playing an instrument with the ensemble. It's a lot of pressure, but it's so much fun. You really do get a lot out of the concert experience. Rehearsals are also fun, and intense in a different way, but when you're on the stage, with the lights and the fancy clothes and the audience, it's awesome. I can't think of a better thing to be doing.


Going to the festivals was really cool. Neither ensemble qualified for the State contest, but it was a valuable experience.

The rhythm work the band has been doing all year has really paid off. Their sight-reading exercise really showed that. Nobody ever "aces" the sight-reading part of the contest, but they did pretty well in comparison to the rest of the schools.

At the choir festival, two girls had to sit down from lightheadedness. Nobody was seriously injured (nobody was injured at all, really), and the choir kept on singing, which are both the best things you could hope for.

I went on WebMD to look at common reasons people faint--talking with one of the girls, I thought I'd better make sure the things I've been told about fainting onstage are actually true! (Sure enough, they are.)

What causes onstage fainting? What can you do about it?

1. Heat -- Being onstage under lights, in dress clothes (for choir, this can mean robes, tuxedos, and warm dresses)...it's hot! You can't really do anything about the lights or your attire, but you can make sure you're well-hydrated. Lightheadedness itself is a symptom of dehydration, so if you're not drinking enough water, you're not doing yourself any favors.

2. Locking your Knees -- Locking your knees restricts the bloodflow in your legs. Not as much blood gets back up to your heart, which means that not as much blood gets reoxygenated and sent around to important balance-managing parts of your body like your brain.

3. Low Blood Sugar and/or Fatigue -- Both of these can make you feel lightheaded, which can make you more likely to faint. You don't have to eat a ton before you perform--in fact, it's probably a bad idea--but make sure you've eaten something before a show or concert. Along the same lines, make sure you get enough sleep!

Nobody was hurt at the district festival, but when you lose consciousness and fall to the ground, you can really hurt yourself. It's not worth skipping breakfast, not being hydrated, or staying up really late when you think about it.


'Tis the season for festivals! This week I get to travel with the FGHS Band and the FGHS Choir to their respective district festivals.

I am always amazed at the amount of work that goes into just hosting a festival--coordinating between the facility and the judges and the performers. Of course, that doesn't even begin to touch on the amount of work the students put in to learning their music (and the work their parents do hounding them to practice, haha) or the work the conductor does outside of rehearsal preparing.

The choir here sounded a little shaky on a couple things last week, so I am looking forward to hearing what changes have taken place over the weekend! I wish that these festivals weren't designed to have winners and losers, but that each choir got comments to go home and improve with. Not that I think that no choir is better than another choir, but I feel personally that competition isn't always the best way.

I should have the NAMS compositions available online by the end of the week. I am still pondering the best way to upload them, and am almost done inputting them all. There are a lot of things I have to do presently other than working on this website--I wish that were not the case, sometimes!--but it is. What I really wish I had was a time-freezing remote so that I could put some things on pause while I finished other stuff. But, then, that's where time management becomes a very valuable skill. :)


...are still on the way. I didn't forget about them, but I was overly optimistic believing I could grade all of the projects and get them online in that short of an amount of time. I am still going to get them online, but it's just not going to be tonight.

Stay tuned!


By tomorrow night, I'd like to have all the worksample compositions from NAMS up on the site in .mp3 format, available for download.

Definitely, definitely check it out.


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