I am honored to be the Associate Conductor of the Fort Worth Chorale during the 2021-2022 season. As a singer, this is my third year, and “Hope Rising” is a concert set that I am very excited to sing, especially because of the powerful texts.
My favorite piece to sing so far this season is "Even When He is Silent." Kim André Arnesen uses the simplicity of the text and a ravishing harmony to paint this emotional state that I interpret to be somewhere between loneliness, doubt, hope, and recovery. I think it's clear that everyone has been affected by the pandemic in some way. Personally, I experienced that same mix of emotions for many months for various reasons. Singing this piece is a medium for me to express those feelings after so long. I'm sure many of the choristers this season feel something similar from a variety of moments in our program.
As the Associate Conductor, I have gotten to work with Dr. Kenaston-French, something I am quite comfortable and familiar with. She was my conducting professor during my master's degree and, before that, she was the conductor of my college choir during my bachelor's degree. I often make jokes with her, saying, "I can hear what you're going to say long before you speak." One thing that is new and exciting for me is working with the fabulous group of singers and staff in the Fort Worth Chorale. I often get the privilege of listening to the choir to take notes of what I hear. Every rehearsal, there are several moments that simply take your breath away. I am truly lucky to be able to work with everyone.
The piece I am conducting in Hope Rising is "Sing, My Child." It’s a piece that makes anyone listening want to dance and sing along to it. Believe me, it has quite a catchy tune. My favorite section is a hymn-like interlude between verses that has quite possibly the most uplifting text a singer can hear today. "But when troubles come and worry is all that can be found, gather your strength and hear your voice. Sing, my child." Wow, what a powerful and gorgeous text.
I am so proud of the work of everyone in the Fort Worth Chorale and of the message we are putting out to the world in the form of song. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this amazing organization, and I am ecstatic to be a part in all of it.