by Bill Rashleigh, Director
When asked what my teaching philosophy is, I recalled a quote by America’s greatest song writer, Irving Berlin. He said, “The Song’s The Thing.” This has been a guiding passion of mine during the last thirty-two years of teaching. I recalled being moved to tears by songs I have sung in high school, college and beyond. The music and lyrics combine to create an emotionally powerful message that touches people’s hearts and lives forever. You never know when that is going to happen to you, it could be in a rehearsal, it could be in a performance, it could be as you are watching some other artist so beautifully express what was put on paper by the composer. Music only exists in real-time. It relies on an ensemble to bring it to life, even if just for the length of the piece…then it is dormant again until another ensemble takes on the challenge of sharing with an audience.
The opportunity to discover all that a piece has to offer, to discover through rehearsals what the composer intended, to discover the nuances and intricasies of the music and then to culminate that exploration into a performance bring the piece back to life again sometimes hundreds of years after it was created is a marvelous process. And each time it occurs, as the musicians who perform it grow, more is revealed in the process…it doesn’t get any better than that.
I strive for rehearsals to be an exciting, energetic, humorous, educational and enlightening discovery process combining excellent vocal techniques while revealing all the wonderfully beautiful elements of music the composer has provided. To share this passion, the emotion, the elegance and beauty of great music with the performers and the audience keeps music alive…what more could anyone want.