Summer for Singers


Summer has Texas firmly in her unrelenting grasp. Except for the humidity, everything is dry. Our lawn. The air-conditioned air. When I try to explain summer in Texas to my Pennsylvanian family, I say that we simply have reversed seasons - we stay inside during summer instead.

Summer is a brief period of hibernation for many arts groups in Dallas. There are pop-up performances and festivals, but, with a less structured rehearsal and performance schedule, many of us have the freedom to launch out to other summer programs. So what does summer look like for some members of the Verdigris clan?

As I write, Sam is attending a meeting at Dallas City Hall regarding something to do with the revised cultural plan (I don’t even try to keep up with the details of all his meetings). Being a teacher enjoying summer break, he is filling his days with meetings and Verdigris work. He is studying music for this coming season both independently and in lessons with Richard Sparks at UNT. We have lofty dreams and some chronicled successes already in the books, but Sam knows that long-term success is built on the firm foundation of musical integrity. He and I are young musicians with so much still to learn, and we are so thankful to have greater flexibility over the summer to spend time actively growing.

Erin is singing the role of Meg Page in Diversita Opera’s semi-staged production of Falstaff in July and singing with the Dallas Chamber Choir in their “Love Manifested” concert at Moody Performance Hall in August.

Jonathan is killing it in a new position as manager of a yoga studio. He also sings at Veritas Wine Room at 7pm on the first Sunday of every month with Steve Crozier on the keys. He croons through jazz standards and musical theater pieces with so much love in his sound. Join us next time.

Meredith maintains a studio of 20(!) voice, piano, and composition students over the summer. She will be singing with the Dallas Chamber Choir in their “Love Manifested” concert and as a sub at Church of the Incarnation. She is composing some pieces for local choirs, learning Spanish, and will be galavanting around visiting family and doing genealogical research, because, she says, she's "a nerd and finds it fascinating." We're all nerds here. It's a happy club.

Alex Longnecker is currently at Tanglewood in Massachusetts. Over the course of two months he will perform in choral concerts, as a soloist on four different cantata and art song concerts, and will sing the role of The Analyst in Bernstein's A Quiet Place.

Natalie is solfege-ing her face off in Wichita Falls while working diligently towards her Kodály Level one certification. If you know Natalie, you know that she is solfege queen. Later this summer she goes to Spain for a recording gig with a American professional choir.

At the Victoria Bach Festival in June, Katrina sang in the chorus and treated the audience to the luscious mezzo aria in BWV 106. A certified yoga instructor, Katrina has been posting radically adorable photos of her latest joy-filled adventure, bunny and goat yoga. Her current profile picture features a fluffy bunny butt plopped right next to her head.

Alex Bumpas has written a show! Here’s a link to the project that he has created with two other vocalists. He’s also working towards release of an album that he has been recording over the last few months.

After a visit home to Pennsylvania for family time and my brother's Commissioning Week in Annapolis, I sang with Katrina at the Victoria Bach festival at the beginning of the summer. The image link for this blog is a photo of me rehearsing the soprano solos on the Mozart Coronation Mass. Throughout this summer, I teach a few voice students looking to get ahead on their All-State choir packets. I’ll close the summer singing in the festival chorus at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, CT.

In between all of these wonderful commitments, we are taking advantage of the fact that we have free weeknights and weekends to see, among other things, concerts and plays in parks across Dallas. KXT just finished a series of outdoor Sun Sets concerts at the Arboretum. Their final headliner, Lady Bird, had a perfect backdrop (below).

Our view of June Bird's set at the Dallas Arboretum. 

Our view of June Bird's set at the Dallas Arboretum. 

Erinn Sensenig