Tuesday, November 15, 2016

End of the Year Newletter, 2016

Seasons Greetings!

It's such a big task to summarize everything that's happened in 2016. It has been a wonderful year, both personally and professionally! In the spring, I had decided to move on from teaching at St. Matthew's and focus on building my career as a voice teacher, choir director, and professional singer. I was able to be part of a number of fantastic productions throughout the year! It is a wonderful thing to be creating this career out of something I love so very much!

In April, I had the great opportunity to raise money for Pocket Opera by participating in Sing For America's annual concert at the Palace of Fine Arts. I sang a solo from an excerpt of Mozart's Requiem, and got to share the stage with many fantastic singers! In May, I reprised my role as the beautiful statue, Galatea, in Pocket Opera's production of My Fair Galatea. Such a blast to see those cast­mates once again and give more to that charming role!

Summer arrived, and I got my chance to work with the team from Opera San Jose in their very first summer program! This Summer Training Program for Aspiring Artists offered workshops in period movement, vocal masterclasses, resume writing workshops, and a culminating scenes performance, where I sang as Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni. All of this was achieved in just two weeks! During those two weeks, I was also rehearsing with Pocket Opera, again, for their July production of La Vie Parisienne! There were some returning cast mates from Galatea, as well as some new friends on the stage, this production was uproarious and a lot of fun to perform.

In August, I organized an event to raise money for a Backpack Drive, supported by my church in Half Moon Bay. My friends, many of whom being music teachers, participated and sang or played in order to raise funds for this fantastic project. Over $500 was raised to support the purchase of school supplies for needy children. Our music was focused on children's themes, including Disney songs, fairy tales, lullabies, and more! We hope to bring this type of concert back to Half Moon Bay again in the future to support more causes in the community, (we will likely look into raising funds for the weekly Community Breakfasts, which feeds many local homeless people).

The heat of the summer continued as I made my way back to the Yuba­Sutter region for a special one­weekend production of Stephen Sondheim's Company! This event, produced by Yuba City's Acting Company, supported a children's theater program and raised thousands for the ongoing needs of producing children's theater productions. This type of training is immensely helpful, as theater arts can teach students much more than reading lines in a script! Kids learn, discipline, accountability, are often introduced to great pieces of literature, and learn about teamwork. I am proud to be a product of similar programs and to support the next generation of theater geeks!

Following Company, I returned home to immediately begin rehearsals with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Cappella SF. September was filled with fabulous performances of Verdi's Te Deum, Bach's Jesu Meine Freude and Britten's Hymn to St Cecilia. I was overwhelmed by the amazing musicianship of my colleague and honored to be part of such groups, both led by conductor Ragnar Bohlin. October returned to the swing of things with my voice studio, many students preparing for fall shows and auditions. The Holiday season brings me lots of fun and work! I hope to see people at some of the various music events that I will be participating in and hosting in the Bay Area this Holiday Season!

On December 11th, I am proud to be in charge of hosting the annual Coastside Community Christmas Sing at Coastside Lutheran Church in Half Moon Bay, CA. This hymn sing event is a celebration of Christmas in songs, lessons, and carols. The performance begins at 7pm, and is followed by a reception at the church. December 15th through 17th, I will be singing with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus again, in their annual performance of Handel's Messiah.

Throughout the holiday season, I will be caroling again with the Piccola Carolers. This will be my third year with this fun group! You can catch three or four of us out at a time, in full Victorian garb, singing your favorite Christmas and Holiday songs! Check my Facebook for specific dates, times, and locations of these performances.

If I have missed something or you would like to stay in touch, you can always check my performing schedule or connect with me on my professional Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SopranoLieslMichele) or on my website (www.mcpherrin.com)


Happy Holidays,
Liesl

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fall Festivities!

WOW! Amazing start to the concert season/finale of the summer season! I'm not quite sure which it was, since it all seemed to blur together!

Our Community Backpack Drive raised around $500 for local school children needing backpacks! We had a great time and support from the parishioners at CLC. I was so proud of that project and I sincerely hope to bring more fundraisers like that to the church.

Sondheim's Company at the Acting Company in Yuba City was also an honor to be a part of! That fundraiser was able to bring in close to $10,000 for the local theater and funding for the children's theater program! I am so happy that my hometown community has such a strong sense of support for the arts and arts education for young people! It's SO SO important!

Drive a Person Crazy, Sondheim's Company

Upon returning to my Bay Area life, I jumped right into SF Symphony Chorus' Fall season with Verdi's Te Deum. What a treat! I am excited to participate in four more concerts with SFSC this year. Intermingled with those rehearsals, were the rehearsals for Cappella SF's Immortal Fire: A Tribute with Voices and Organ. WHAT. AN. AWESOME. CHOIR. It was some of the hardest work I have EVER done in a choir and it was fantastic. I had the honor of singing the soprano solo in Britten's Hymn to St. Cecilia. So much gorgeous music, it was a shame to only get to perform it twice! If you didn't make it to either of those performances, I will be singing with CSF again in February for Anthracite Fields,  a very modern, almost rock-inspired, choral song cycle. I will definitely be posting more information as it is given to me.

Now that I'm back to routine, I have my studio kids to teach, my choir to direct, and the Holiday concert season to look forward to!

Please check out my calendar for details about performances!

Happy Fall!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Place, More Space!

Wow! Summer is almost over and I have had a LOT going on! It's been a fantastic few months of singing, acting, and learning.

Galatea and Pagliacci had a fabulous revival run in May this year. The cast had a great time reviving these characters and exploring them further! We really were able to play and make the comedy of Galatea a success.

This June and July, I was able to take part in Opera San Jose's very first Summer Program for Aspiring Artists. We had two full weeks of classes, scene coachings, and staging. Our culminating performance was absolutely lovely, and I made some new and awesome friends!

La Vie Parisienne was a HOOT this July. It's one of Offenbach's many comedic treasures, and I loved playing a saucy-seductress of a chambermaid. What a pleasure to be part of Pocket Opera's team of actors!

Coming up next, my music teacher friends and I have put together a recital of children's themed songs and scenes to raise funds for the Coastside Community Backpack Drive. This ecumenical effort collects backpacks and raises money for school supplies to help over 500 children go back to school with everything they need to be successful. Our concert will be the first performance to raise money for this event, and we all hope to make a difference in the lives of children in our community. Hopefully, we can see more events like this at Coastside Lutheran Church! I am working hard to make that a reality for the parish.

I continue to teach voice lessons on the Peninsula, but have moved to the East Bay! I hope to hear from the local community for potential students. I have enough space now that I can take some students in my new home! I am very excited about this prospect. Living in a small apartment for two years was feeling very cramped. It is a relief to have a little space and be living in a quieter neighborhood!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sing For America Concert this month!!

Dear Friends and Family,
 
Over the past 10 weeks I’ve been rehearsing and fundraising for the Sing for America Benefit Concert, which will take place at 7pm on Sunday, April 17, at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts.

This year’s show will feature beloved songs from the movies, covering a wide range of music from Mozart (Amadeus) to Rogers & Hammerstein (Sound of Music) to Queen (Wayne’s World).  I will even get to sing the soprano solo in our excerpts from Mozart's Requiem!
 
In addition to the SFA Chorus, we have several amazing guest artists including Tony Award-winner, Michael Maguire, renowned vocalist, Billy Valentine, and accomplished Broadway and Hollywood singer, Julie GarnyĆ©.
 
Tickets are $35, but with my personal promo code SFA062, you’ll receive a $5 discount.  This show will sell out, so please buy tickets now by following this link to the City Box Office. Over 500 tickets have already been sold!
 
If you can’t make the concert, please consider making a donation to my SFA page http://www.classy.org/pocketsoprano 

All donations given on the donation page go DIRECTLY to Pocket Opera! I will be returning to perform with them in May, as the title role in My Fair Galatea, May 15th and 22nd!
 
If you’d like to learn more about SFA, check out this quick intro to who we are and what we do and visit our webpage.
 
Thanks and I hope to see you on April 17!

Sincerely, 

Liesl McPherrin 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March Madness! And I don't mean Basketball...

This month is wildly busy. I'm lucky I was able to do so much in February, now I'm buckling down and getting the real work done. Being at a church and a church school means that Easter and Lent is a very busy time of year.

I was able to absorb so much from the ACDA conference in Pasadena. WOW! There are some fantastic groups out there. So many wonderful youth choruses and high school choirs at the conference! Of COURSE the adult and collegiate choirs were fantastic, as well. It was such a pleasure to watch some of these fantastic conductors work, and to hear lectures from great conductors working all over the Western US.

Along with seeing so many fantastic choirs, I also caught up with old friends in the LA area, had a little fun, and bought TONS of music to use with my choirs.

Coming up next weekend is another Marysville performance - Applause! Love, 60s style. A great collection of fun music, crazy mod and hippie costumes, and of course a handful of laughs! This performance is part of a joint effort to raise funds for both the Sutter Performing Arts Association and the Yuba-Sutter Arts Council. (More information and tickets available at www.yubasutterarts.org)

Then Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on the 20th! A wild couple days, with a student recital Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening services, then Easter Sunday! Easter is so nice, though. I look forward to it every year. Christmas is always so busy and rushed, but Easter is a day for joy, food, and chocolate bunnies. :)

In April, I get to be part of a wonderful choral concert! Sing For America will present their annual concert at the Palace of Fine Arts. I am raising money through this program for Pocket Opera! Please donate or buy tickets soon! (www.classy.org/pocketsoprano).

Signing off now to enjoy the rest of my rainy Sunday afternoon!

-Liesl

Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm sorry I haven't written!!!

My dear friends,

I have been busy! I have been part of so many great things, musical and extra-musical these past few months. I am sitting in my basement classroom waiting for the "invasion-of-the-third-graders" to begin, where we will attempt the final two phrases of "Ode to Joy" on their recorders. It's.... fun (for them). Although squeaky, I know they are beginning to learn the fundamentals of musicianship: respect, taking turns, patience, and following directions. *Notice how none of these things are actually reading music, they are learning that, too...

I am working throughout at least three towns, building a voice studio of lovely singers, from eight to eighty! I have a few lovely young ladies in Yuba City, studying some of my favorite pieces of music, and a handful of eager kids here in San Mateo preparing for a production of The Wiz, and other fun things. One of my former Marysville Charter students is even preparing for University auditions to complete her BFA! #proudmamabear

I am getting myself ready to prepare another performance on Galatea in May of this year, a choral concert for Sing For America, and a couple fun things up in the Yuba-Sutter Region to help fundraise for arts programs up there.

To stay up to date on my students, give them great articles, and promote business, I have created a Facebook page for the studio! Liesl's Voice Studio. Check it out! My own performances will continue to be listed on my Facebook page and my website's calendar.

Thank you for reading! Have a great weekend!

Broken Heart and Raspy Voice: The California Fires

I am so so heartbroken for all the people who have lost their homes this month in the California fires. The flames were visible from my pare...

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