Friday, March 13, 2009

For Once, A Happy Post!

A sign found yesterday on Broadway, adjacent to HUC-NYC. I found it to be hysterically funny...only in New York!

You know those times when you have so much going on that it seems impossible to try to narrow it down into one blog post, but you don't have the motivation to waste your lovely Sunday afternoon writing 2 or more? Yeah, that's where I am today.

Thank God March is here, and that it brought some happier times (and warmer temps!) February was not pretty, and I am SO GLAD it's in the past so I can concentrate on springtime! Of course, I had some help to get me through the dreary month of February...

This lovely little gem of a chocolate pizza from Max Brenner's, shared with Adam and his friend Dan when Adam was in town helping me to rid my apartment of mice. Chill out, guys...I had one piece and it was worth every single calorie!

A chocolate martini, the one alcoholic beverage I drank during the month of February...compared to my half-bottles of wine that I drank nearly every night before bedtime when adjusting to NYC this summer, I'd say I did pretty well last month.

Thank God for little brothers. Adam came up the night of Valentine's Day to help me tackle the mice problem (and we've been winning, thus far!) We got to spend almost a week together, and had a good time touring Chelsea Market, Times Square, and St Marks Place. I'm incredibly lucky to have a little brother who's as good to me as Adam is. Thanks, schmucky :)

I was also priviliged to sing in Lisa's senior recital on liturgical jazz music. This recital was truly one of the highlights of my scholastic month, and a wonderful getaway from my Nusach-heavy semester. Lisa (in the gold dress, obviously) did an amazing job, and the music was fun, beautiful and interesting. Pictured, from left to right: Lisa, Mary, me, Jaime, Josh.

So, that was Feburary. What's up for March?

More Recitals!
Last week, Arik gave his recital over the music of Moishe Oysher, which was incredibly entertaining and quite the spectacle. We were lucky to listen to Arik's amazing talent, along with the talents of several of the male cantorial faculty at HUC. Since we'd never really gotten to hear these chazzanim sing before, it was quite a thrill. I loved how the Yiddish music of this recital appealed to all of us wannabe cantors, and would so easily appeal to synagogue and even secular audiences. I'm excited to try to find some of Oysher's movies and learn more about him through his acting and chazzanut.

This week, I am participating in another recital based on portraying the Cantor as Educator. We're singing some really lovely pieces, and Zoe (the 5th year presenting the recital) is a doll to work with.

There are a few more recitals throughout the remainder of the semester, and I have to say that I have had so much fun watching and/or participating in them. They absolutely inspire me to begin thinking about my own recital (3 years from now...) and how much I am looking forward to putting so much time and energy into one specific topic.

Guitar Lessons!
Have I mentioned before that I'm taking guitar lessons this semester? It's a requirement of all HUC-trained cantors that we can learn how to play enough guitar to accompany ourselves on simple congregational tunes in front of a congregation. I'm taking lessons with my friend and rabbinical student colleage, Evan, and I am having a great time with it. Who knew I could actually learn to play guitar (considering my 2 failed attempts in college and after...) and actually enjoy it? I know about 10 chords thus far, and I am working on strumming and finger picking patterns. It's a good skill to have as a cantor (really, as any Jewish professional) so I'm excited to be working on it.

Student Placement
AKA, the bane of my existence. This is where things start to turn sour. As much as I've loved working at my congregation this year, I decided to bite the bullet and enter into student placement for a new congregation for next year. With the economy in the state it's in right now, many congregations have decided they don't need a student cantor anymore, therefore causing a shortage in jobs for next year. There are 20 students applying for roughly 12 positions, and everyone is applying for pretty much everything based solely on the fact that they need a job for next year. It's scary to leave a perfectly great job knowing that I might not have a job at all next year. However, I attended services this past Friday night at the congregation I'd really like to work for next year, and I realized that I need to take this risk, to leave what is stable and comfortable to find something that is going to push me, beat the hell out of me, and fulfill me musically. I probably won't get this particular job, based on my experience and the fact that so many incredibly talented people are also applying, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. Auditions/interviews are one week from today (eeeek!) so we'll see what happens.

What else is going on? I don't even know. It's been a crazy month of March, but a much happier one than I could have predicted a month ago. I'm looking forward to 3 more visits to South Bend, a visit from my favorite boys in the entire world, a trip home for the last part of Pesach, and whatever else will be thrown my way throughout the rest of the semester.

Hope you're all well and enjoying this introduction to springtime!

1 comment:

Liz @ McFargan: A Midwestern Matrimony said...

Tracy! I just added your blog to my google reader and it's great to catch up on what you're doing! :)

Love ya, girl!
Shalom!