Wilkommen in Leipzig! Today we joined members of the Chorale who are singing in the master class at the Pavillion der Hoffnung. I was able to see the entire Chorale perform a Saturday evening motet at the Thomaskirche yesterday; it was so odd to be on the audience side! They were, of course, fantastically well- received.
Tomorrow we begin to work with each conductor on their pieces, including two of the acapella works, "Give Me Jesus" and "Prayer." Both pieces are stunning in their own right, but I am especially excited to sing Larry Fleming's arrangement of the African American spiritual "Give Me Jesus," as I sang it in the Thomaskirche with the Chorale in 2010, my freshman year of college. Plus, one of my best friends will be conducting it this time!
René Clausen's "Prayer" is an oft-performed but always beautiful work based on the text of Mother Theresa's daily prayer:
Help me spread Your fragrance wherever I go, Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
The prayer continues with a message of servitude and devotion, one that inspires me as a singer to focus on my mission here in Leipzig: to spread the joy of music with those that love it most and those who need it most. Often times we as performers get too wrapped up in our own self-gratification. We say "I am doing this for me," and while that is important, we must also consider the other lives we touch. Being a musician provides us with many opportunities to travel and tour, but we have to remember our calling to spread the fragrance of our gratitude as we journey through life.
I'll write more tomorrow when we delve into the business of rehearsing. Until then, bis Später!