Fall Update – Kol Rena, Moments of Clarity and NYC

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. It is a time for colder weather, leaves changing color and spice-filled coffee and desserts. Being in the US allows me to spend not one, but two days being thankful that involve eating turkey and spending quality time with family and friends. πŸ™‚

It has been a bit challenging adjusting to life back in North America after spending a month in Italy. That might sound weird, but those of you who have experienced a good chunk of time away from home can likely relate. My trip was life changing and I enjoyed every second of it – the people, the food, the scenery, the art, and everything in between. This fall has been a time of reflection for me and planning of where I’m going next with my career in music. Great! So where am I headed? Honestly, I don’t know! The fun and sometimes challenging part of all of this is I don’t know where I fit in the music world just yet or what I’m meant to do with it all. I’m trying a lot of different things to help myself continue to grow as an artist and I certainly feel like I’m on the right path so far. I have learned a lot about myself and grown as an individual, figuring out my wants and needs, which is important regardless of the career you choose, in my humble opinion.

So have I been laying on the couch watching Netflix for the past two months? No. πŸ™‚ Well, if I’m honest, some days I did. πŸ˜‰ I’ve shifted a lot of my focus this fall to helping others. I’m having a blast with my teacher/mentor/friend Shouvik working as co-director of Kol Rena, the children’s choir at the newly formed Jewish Education Center of Anne Arundel County in Annapolis. We have an inspiring group of children from Kindergarten through 7th Grade who we work with once a week on music and singing fundamentals. We get to teach them songs in Hebrew and they sing at a lot of the services at the Kneseth Israel Temple. In fact, for the first time ever at KI, the children sang during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services this year. They were a hit and performed wonderfully after only two rehearsals with us! It is a lot of fun and I feel fulfilled every week after working with them.

I’ve also started up my own private studio, where I teach voice and basic piano/music theory. I have a few students that I’m working with right now and I love it! This is something I certainly want to continue, regardless of where I end up in the next few years.

On the performance front, I am super excited to be singing in a concert this fall with my friend and fabulous soprano, Katherine Riddle. The concert is entitled ‘Moments of Clarity’ and explores the intricacies of life through song. It will include a mixture of musical theatre and opera repertoire where the characters have a realization about their life, love, etc. Katherine and I have wanted to sing together for awhile, so I am really looking forward to performing with her! If you’re in the area and are able to join us, we would love to see you there! The concert will be held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, MD at 8PM on Saturday November 22nd. Admission is 10$ at the door with proceeds going to the church.

Of course while all of this stuff is going on, I continue to take voice lessons, coach repertoire, speak Italian with my friends, play piano and get to the gym as much as I can. I also signed up this fall to take some classes in Alexander Technique up in Baltimore with a friend of mine and that is going really well! I’m enjoying learning about how to ‘un-do’ some of the bad habits I have that will ultimately free my voice up and get rid of excess tension that I sometimes have a tendency to carry.

I traveled to NYC a couple of times this fall as well and saw some incredible shows while I was there. Quite possibly one of the greatest works I’ve ever seen is a play entitled ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time“. It is a story about a young autistic boy, told through his eyes. It is one of the most powerful experiences I have ever witnessed – the acting, direction, story, and use of technology was stunning. When the critics describe it as ‘one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway’, they weren’t kidding. If you are anywhere near NYC, get thee to see this incredibly important work. You won’t regret it.

So that is where I currently stand. I’m looking forward to November and seeing what opportunities the winter has in store for me as I continue to work on my craft. I hope you are having a wonderful fall (spring down under) and all is well! Happy almost Halloween! πŸ™‚

About Melanie Anderson

Singer, basketball player, scotch enthusiast, Canadian. http://www.MelanieIAnderson.com
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