Hi friends and fans --
We birds are all just returning to our normal lives after one of the fullest, funnest weekends of music last week: The 45th anniversary reunion of the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus.
The Slavic Chorus, or the "Slavs," as we all lovingly refer to the group, was founded in 1969--the very first year that women were admitted to Yale as undergraduates. They have been holding reunions for all alumnae every few years ever since. We met some of the women who were singers in 1969 at the reunion, along with over 100 other alumnae from across the 45 years of the chorus's existence.
Here's a picture of the Yale Slavic Chorus from 1977, featuring some of the ladies we met last weekend:
Nila, Rachel and I met in "Slavs" in 2009, and we sang together in the chorus for 3 years. That's the secret (I think) behind the magic of our three voices working so well together even though The Nightingale Trio is a relatively new ensemble -- we'd really been working on it together for all those years already. We also learned this music in the oral tradition -- from older Slavs who had in turn learned from their predecessors. We each came in as a new singer and were challenged by the experienced members to take solos, learn challenging songs, and get better and better at sounding Bulgarian.
I often like to think about the way that music is transporting -- the songs, harmonies, and stories that surround them are connected to people in distant places and distant times. Some of those people are the village women and poets who composed the songs; some are the audience members we have talked to over the years; and some are these Yale Slavic Chorus singers who came before us and sang the same songs.
Talk about transporting. For the women in the early years of Slavs, the Chorus was a women-filled ensemble on a campus where women numbered 490 out of 4586 undergraduates (I looked it up), and they sang songs from Yugoslavia, Russia, and Bulgaria when the Iron Curtain was part of global politics. This music, and the act of coming together to craft it, surely transported them to a world where paradigms were different, and where women's voices rang out.
That magic has percolated into our singing, even decades later. As a Trio we owe so much to these women in Slavs; both to the trailblazers and to those who have continued it for 45 years. At the reunion, some of the current students singing in Slavs invited us to sing a set for all the alumnae at our party. It's an honor to think that after all we've learned from them that they would want to listen to us now!
What an awesome experience. So here's to the Slavs, and to 45 more years (at least).
-- Sarah (Nightingale #3)
(thanks to Ann Mackey and Celia Rostow for pictures)
Our performance at Golden Festival is now posted up in the Free Music Archives, thanks to WFMU radio. You can listen here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Nightingale_Trio/Live_at_Golden_Festival_2015/
Hello friends and fans -
It's Sarah/Nightingale #3 here, writing with a little personal winter reflection
The grapevines are dry and dusted with snow, and birds are calling over the hills as they fly to the sea. It's winter, and we're settling in and feeling so grateful for where we have come and where we have been. Golden Festival was wonderful -- it was an honor to sing there for the first time as The Nightingale Trio, and a joy to be reunited with all our friends from the Yale Slavic Chorus and other bands.
The way I remember it, Golden Festival was part of the catalyst of starting our Trio. In January of 2013, about 8 months after we had last sung together, Nila, Rachel, and I saw each other again at Golden Festival. We hugged and reminisced and delighted in listening to the new generation of "Slavs" singing their set. A few weeks later, Rachel emailed the other two of us saying, "Guys, I miss singing! Can you fly out to Texas? I'll book a couple casual shows and we can pay for your plane tickets." Since then, we have been on 8 tours, recorded an album, played on national radio, met all of you, traveled to 5 states, and even learned two songs in English. It has been amazing to be part of it!
We've just released some new video -- new tunes that you may not have heard before along with some old favorites.
First, a Georgian song, "Ase Chonguri": http://youtu.be/wLQGt0azplw
Second, old classic "Lepi Juro": http://youtu.be/sWIwGgyy5cU
And, the completely awesome "Bezrodna Nevesta" http://youtu.be/6MHtH2Nw1WU
In May, we'll be singing in Minnesota as part of "Mountain Memories," a production of Ethnic Dance Theater folklore dance ensemble. In addition, we've been invited to record live in the studio at Minnesota's Classical Public Radio station, so we'll have exciting updates about that coming out later.
Thank you all for being part of the music so far! Hope to see you all soon.
After some time to rest this winter, we are on our way to New York to a festival about everything but resting -- GOLDEN FEST! We've been going to Golden Fest for years to dance and yip with all our favorite brass bands, and this year we are thrilled to be coming onto the stage, too. Catch us this Saturday, January 17 at 7:25 pm in the Atrium.
And then meet us on the dance floor!
Tickets are at www.goldenfest.org.
(thanks to www.goldenfest.org for the picture)
We are looking forward to our first visit to the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area -- we have some wonderful shows lined up next weekend: September 25-28. See you there!
In the meantime, share and pass along this from the Local Music Maryland blog:http://www.localmusicmaryland.com/the-nightingale-trio-visit-maryland-and-dc/
Minneapolis welcomed us back again with beautiful sunshine, lakes, and summer birdsongs last weekend! (Just a little different from the polar vortex back in January.) We had an especially lovely concert at the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in downtown Minneapolis - several audience members connected with us after the show and shared their own beautiful experiences with this music.
One woman said to us after the show, "Your music can heal a wounded soul."
Another woman introduced herself, and said her family was from Yugoslavia. "My mother cried four times during your show," she said. The woman brought her mother over to say hello, and she cried again.
We are so honored to be able to share our own hearts with audiences through singing this music; we are honored to have been able to learn from so many amazing people over the years. Thank you all for being part of it with us.
Next up: Fall tour to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, M.D. the last weekend of September. Check our Shows page for dates and venues.
Our tour dates for July are official! If you are in the Upper Midwest, come sing with us in choral-loving Minneapolis, Minnesota or the pastoral scenery of Osceola, Wisconsin.
We've had a little hiatus this spring, giving space for Nightingale #1 Nila to get married! We were delighted to be able to sing at her wedding in Livermore, CA, and now we're making plans for more public shows. Keep an eye open for shows in Minnesota in July.
We are back in Dallas (the city where we first roosted!) this weekend, for shows all across town.
Catch us on Friday or Saturday at the following shows:
Friday, April 4
Presented by Southern Methodist University
Atrium of Meadows School of Music
6101 Bishop Blvd
Dallas, TX 75275
Saturday, April 5
New Music in Old East Dallas
Big Blue House in East Dallas
Seating is limited.
We celebrate music potluck style, so bring a dish/beverage to share!
Our video of "Vdova" is getting LOTS of play this week - most recently from Minnesota Public Radio on their music blog. Thanks for listening!