I've been rehearsing 2 songs by Carolyn Ballinger for my Operation Christmas Child program -- "My Child" and "Only You". Carolyn is a 22-year-old Australian, a former homeschooler with a degree in piano performance, who has been touring with CTI Music Ministries (USA) for the past year. See www.ctimusic.org Her summer outreach in Singapore is about to conclude and then she'll be returning home. I love Carolyn's songs -- lyrics that reach all the way to that deep, needy spot, sweet melodies, and gorgeous accompaniments. I hope she keeps composing!
I've started work on my program for "Music Through the Ages" in November. I will be singing "My Heart Ever Faithful" by J. S. Bach; "I Sit Beside the Fire", a poem by J. R. R. Tolkein which Donald Swann set to music circa 1967 (see "The Road Goes Ever On" at www.donaldswann.co.uk/songcycles.html), quite delightful; and "I Believe in You", an Il Divo/Celine Dion piece. I learned last year how important it is to regularly reassure the people we love that we believe in them and support them in their endeavours. It's not necessary that I sing a modern song (there will be plenty of recent music on the program, I'm sure), and I'm very happy exploring Bach and Handel, but I really wanted to sing it as soon as I heard it, and the show director already knew the song and wanted me to sing it, too. It's important to me that I not just tickle people's ears with a pleasant sound, but that I lodge a purpose to my singing that will give them something to think about.
I'm gearing up for my teaching debut in August, a live-in week of coaching with Emma and Tessa McGeorge. I know from past experience that if you want to learn something well and quickly or refine and define a certain skill, teach it! Having had just 6 sessions with a voice professional, I'm going to encapsulate what I've learned by passing it on. I know it's going to be a fun week -- and it won't just be the students who learn heaps!