All posts tagged: Singing

A Superstar Visits Buenos Aires

(Photo: Liverpool Lighthouse/YouTube.com) Gospel music has a way of making people sound like better singers than they are. I should know—I’m one of those people. In general, one should not make too many assumptions about someone’s talent simply because that person sings professionally or publicly. When a person chooses to sing or not sing in front of other people, that choice doesn’t necessarily reflect the person’s musical ability (or lack thereof). Not all people who can sing do sing, and not all people who do sing can sing. If you’re wondering into which category I fall, the answer is who the hell knows? Can I carry a tune? Absolutely. (*Clears throat. Puts right index finger to ear and points left index finger to sky, like Mi-mi-mi-miiiiii. Do-re-mi-fa….*) Can I hit high notes? Usually. It depends on how many Marlboros I smoked (or how much Malbec I drank) the previous night. But when you sing in a gospel choir, especially an African-American gospel choir, hitting your notes is beside the point. The music is as much …

How Music and Loss Led Me to Become a Pastor

(Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) I don’t know when exactly it was that I realized that I wasn’t going to be an opera singer, but I do know when I realized I was going to be a pastor. Growing up in Montana, church was my favorite place to be and my favorite thing to do there was sing. It seemed that singing was my gift, so with one degree in music under my belt, I moved to Maryland to begin a master’s degree in opera. I worked my way through my graduate school by being a soloist in a large synagogue, a director of music at a Baptist church and working at the University Bookstore where I met a cashier who would one day be my husband. In 1994 my husband and I were married and moved to NYC so that I could pursue a career in opera. In choir, they were not “men living with AIDS.” They were musicians and not every part of them was sick. I’d lived in the city for nearly a year …

What’s Your System: How I Prepare To Sing

(Photo Courtesy: Nora York /Norayork.com) Who: Nora York, New York vocalist and composer. System: Before a show I try and do some yoga, I do my digital pranayama and I take a bath, if I can. I like a bath. And then I usually try and do some kind of meditation. I like to apply my makeup while listening to (the late) Irish tenor John McCormack. I listen to the stuff he recorded with just piano, not with orchestra. Why John McCormack? He has the most clear emotional delivery of singing and I find him incredibly inspiring. Songs like, “Off to Philadelphia in the morning…” LISTEN And then sometimes I’ll listen to Jimi Hendrix. That’s quite different. And now that I’m blind, well, older, I have to wear glasses. But I don’t like to wear them for the stage. So I apply my contact lenses, I have special ones for the stage which are bifocal. And it takes me a really long time to put them in. How long have you been wearing them? I convinced the Chinese …