Listen Like You’ve Never Heard It

Next week we’re premiering May by Michael McGlynn – a beautiful, harmonically rich soundscape that we’ve been working on most of the year. It is a challenge, but they are now quite familiar with it.

Last rehearsal I asked my singers to step back and have some perspective. The sudden harmonic shifts, the language we are using, the story we’re telling: they’re all so familiar to us now. We’ve known them for the better part of a year.

Our audience will be experiencing it all for the first time!

I asked my choir to sing the piece and listen as if they were hearing it for the first time – an audience member at the premiere.

Revelations ensued – they noticed things they had forgotten, they heard themselves and each other better and for the first time in a long time, saw the forest rather than the trees.

Especially for a premiere, especially for any piece that will challenge the audience’s ears, it’s vital that we recognize what our audience’s reaction is going to be.