“Lux Aeterna” to be Performed by the Festival Choir

3 08 2012

Ending this year’s Summer Program in style is this year’s Festival Choir concert. Under the direction of Dr. Joe Modica, who returns for the fifth summer,  this collection of young vocalists will undertake Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna”. This seminal work will be performed at Idyllwild Arts on Saturday, August 18 at 1:00 pm and on Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 pm in the University of Redlands Memorial Chapel.

Dr. Modica responded to a few questions for us about the upcoming 2012 Festival Choir and performances.

How has the Festival Choir changed and progressed in the past few years?
We have really put an emphasis on recruiting highly talented high school musicians, most of which have been part of various honor choirs or come recommended by their music teachers. It seems that every year the choir improves, allowing us to perform very Challenging repertoire.

What sort of students do you see coming to the program?
We have students from all over the country attend the festival choir. In the past we have had students from New York, Connecticut, South Carolina, and even Russia and China. Of course most of the students are from California, but these other students lend us a little more diversity.

With young voices how do you approach teaching such an intricate and complex work?
Almost all of the students have had previous experience in a choir. We have a very demanding rehearsal schedule (about 8 hours a day), so it is very important to be careful with young singers so they don’t lose their voices or form bad habits as far as technique. The choral faculty all work with this age group on a regular basis and understand how to teach the repertoire efficiently, keeping the students vocal health at the forefront. Read the rest of this entry »


Rich Capparela Returns for Chamber Music Pre-Concert Talks

3 08 2012

This year, we’re happy to welcome back Rich Capperela of KUSC radio. Rich returns to host pre-concert talks prior to the Faculty Chamber Music Concerts beginning at 7:30 pm in Stephens Recital Hall followed by a concert at 8:00 pm on Monday, August 6, Friday, August 10 and Thursday August 16.
As the weekday afternoon host (4-7pm) and Sunday afternoon host (1-4pm) on KUSC at 91.5 FM and, in Palm Springs on KPSC at 88.5 FM, Rich brings his thoughtful and articulate perspective to help the audience appreciate the works even more.

The Chamber Music Festival returns this after a two-year hiatus. Begun originally in 2001 the Festival continue until 2009. With renewed commitment, Idyllwild Arts Summer Program is reintroducing the Festival and its performances by both students and faculty to the public. Rich has always been a part of the Chamber Music Festival and it’s wonderful to have him back.

Q. What do you see as the best experience of coming to hear a Chamber Music Concert?
A. My wife Marcia and I like to kid around that when we’re on the hill we always have a terrific appetite. The food just tastes better. “It’s the altitude” we half joke. It’s a bit like that for the chamber music festival. A Beethoven piano trio sounds all well and fine at sea level, but on the hill, with a star-filled sky and the scent of fresh pine, it’s simply better. No worries about a traffic jam in the parking garage at the concert’s end, the promise of a quiet night’s sleep. Yup. It’s just better.

Q.For a novice, what sort of guidelines would you give to an audience member? What can they expect to hear?
A. The faculty musicians put together programs that serve both as a cozy familiar experience and as a chance to make new friends. While names like Mozart and Brahms are not uncommon, the performers also introduce audiences to composers who are off the beaten path (but no less deserving) – folks like Bohuslav Martinu, Josef Suk and Anton Arensky.

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Sheila Brady – Her Summer Story “I found my tribe”

3 08 2012

I started coming to Idyllwild Family Camp 4 years ago.  My friends, Will and Patty Stein, had been coming for 3 years or so and told me that I would really enjoy it and that I would meet “my tribe” here.  I decided to come with my niece and nephew, who were 13 and 14 at the time. We all had a great time.  I liked the fact that I really didn’t have to worry about them.  They could be independent, but still we’d be in touch enough so that I would know what they were up to.  There was a limit to how much trouble they could get into. They thought it was “really welcoming – everyone is nice to everyone – people were aggressively welcoming, actively inclusive.  It was all really fun.”  And as they were super into drama, there were a lot of older kids that they would think of as role models, who they followed around like puppy dogs.  They also really got into all aspects of the art, not the least in making props for their talent show act! Read the rest of this entry »