August Studio Recital by Shauna Fallihee

There's nothing I love more than the studio environment.  The process of exploration and discovery in a completely low-stakes setting is oh so comforting.  But singing is an act of generosity!  In the spirit of generous performing, twelve members of the studio shared their gifts with friends and family, accompanied by the fantastic Paul Caccamo.  

They. Were. Fabulous!

I was thrilled to see and hear levels of expressivity and commitment that only appear in the presence of an audience.  The energy of performance uplifted singers and listeners alike.  Piedmont Piano Company was a wonderful venue that was both intimate and spacious.  The lovely sound and excellent piano certainly elevated the music-making.  Such a successful event reminded me just how important it is to get out of the studio environment and learn through performing.

Bravi tutti!

Mozart 'Requiem' and 'Vespers': A Studio Effort by Shauna Fallihee

There is no greater treat as a teacher than to watch your singers shine. 

Scratch that.  Singing WITH them is even better!

I had the immense pleasure of joining *nine* of my voice students in Mozart's glorious 'Requiem' and the lesser-known but delightful 'Vesperae solennes de confessore' with the San Francisco Choral Society and California Chamber Symphony.  The concerts were presented at St. Ignatius in SF.  An inspiring venue, to say the least!

No performance is without its hiccups.  As I stepped into my new snazzy new gown, I discovered a thigh-high slit that I hadn't noticed in the dressing room!  Thankfully it draped modestly and my lozenges gave me some much needed encouragement.

I managed to keep my leg in my gown and we delivered two very satisfying performances.  The concerts have already been praised on San Francisco Classical Voice.  I agree with the reviewer that the chorus sang with wonderful focus and intensity.  I will submit his assessment of my singing happily, without comment. 

Another highlight was sharing the stage with some of my favorite colleagues.  I was reunited with Kindra Scharich who was my partner in crime in West Bay Opera's production of 'Carmen' many years ago.  Michael Desnoyers and I sang a 'Nozze di Figaro' many years ago as well.  I had not sung with Eugene Brancoveanu before but he was also fabulous.  And of course, my beloved, nearly 25 year mentor, Bob Geary.

I could not be a happier singer or teacher.  Bravi Tutti!

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Reopening Pandora's Box by Shauna Fallihee

In May, Volti collaborated with Ensemble of Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir on Pandora's Gift, an interpretation of the Pandora's box legend.  Denise Newman's vivid text was set to music by Mark Winges, Volti's composer-in-residence.  The rich, complex piece was brought fully to life with staging by Erika Chong Schuch.  

"Dawn", sung by Volti, creates an atmosphere of wonder with slightly ominous foreshadowing.  In the second movement, "All Hell", the box is opened.  All the world's horrors are released.  This movement features the children in the virtuosic and chilling "Ticking Time."  The final movement, "Hope" moves slowly out of the wreckage and towards optimism.

Putting this piece together was a wonderful stretch for both ensembles.  Erika challenged us to motivate every musical and physical gesture with specific intention.  The result was one of the most satisfying performing experiences in recent memory.  

We reopen the box to share this piece at the Golden Gate International Choral Festival.  We will perform at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland on Thursday 7/16 at 7pm.

Below are rehearsal and candid performance photos by Mark Winges:


Ecco Tour to Honolulu! by Shauna Fallihee

ALOHA!

This past week, I had a fantastic time chaperoning the Ecco choir of Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir to Honolulu.  Hawaii is one of my favorite places on the planet so it was a huge treat to accompany these great kids on their tour.  We visited the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, Waimea Falls, and had lots of relaxing beach time. Here are some pics from the trip!