Here's a list of what singers were bringing to musical theatre auditions in San Antonio (they were requested to bring in music from 1990-present, most did). Top three most done female songs were 'Live Out Loud' from a Little Princess, 'Breathe' from In the Heights and 'The Finer Things' from Jane Eyre. The men didn't have too many repeats, except for 'What do I Need with Love' from Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Nowadays so much of being a collaborative pianist is being versatile and entrepreneurial. Here's a great opportunity to work - for free - with a group that has made a name for themselves for being both exactly that (and excellent, to boot).
Some quotes from their page:
"Eighth Blackbird is excited to be announcing plans for a new summer training program, the Blackbird Creative Lab (“The Lab”), focused on both cutting edge musicianship, dynamic performance aesthetic and savvy inventive development.
The Lab’s mission is to inspire the next generation of performers and composers to share in the ensemble’s vision: to champion a distinctive, dynamic and engaging performance aesthetic. This intensive, human-centered experience will immerse lab fellows in a learn-by-doing, exploratory process of creating new work. By discovering and developing an audacious curatorial vision, lab fellows will be launched on their paths as provocateurs and visionaries in the arts.
Annually at the end of June, The Lab brings together a number of artists and resources for an intense two-week immersion set on a secluded campus setting at the Besant Hill school in Ojai, California:
30 Tuition-Free Fellowships, inclusive of room and board – 24 instrumentalists and 6 composers will be invited to participate each year based on their talent, technical proficiency, ability to communicate, personality, curiosity and creativity. The tuition-free component is essential in order to be competitive with other summer programs and attract the highest quality fellows without regard to need.
9 Faculty – The 6 members of Eighth Blackbird will be joined by 2 professional composers of contrasting styles and 1 choreographer/director at the top of their field.
Guest Artists – Periodic and ongoing visits by creative experts in a diverse array of fields will added based on the selected fellows’ creative project proposals.
Key Partners –The Besant Hill School will provide the facilities and community connections that allow The Lab to achieve its lofty artistic, educational and audience engagement goals.
Over the course of the two-week experience, fellows will participate in:
Coaching Sessions – Daily two-hour sessions lead by faculty and guests
Salon Hours – Gatherings before dinner for informal performances, cocktails and other non-musical activities
Guest Lectures – Structured and unstructured opportunities to talk about a variety of musical and professional development topics with faculty and guests
Individual Practice – Time for fellows to practice and study on their own
Performances – Two culminating public performances to be captured on video"
This summer's starting off with very little relaxation: May musical endeavors include playing in the pit for "A Chorus Line" at the Playhouse, playing with the San Antonio Wind Ensemble (piano) and with the San Antonio Symphony Baroque Series (harpsichord). "A Chorus Line" is a fun show to play, and has very little downtime for the Keys I book (which I prefer to long dialogue breaks). We have a great pit band, 11 strong (!), and we're a little over halfway through. The Wind Ensemble gig includes 2 pieces, Grainger's "Children's March: Over the Hills and Far Away" and Marquez's "Danzon No. 2". I adore playing the Danzon, with its Latin rhythms, the Grainger is less enjoyable to play simply because it isn't written as pianistically (with a couple almost physically implausible moments thrown in, to boot). As for the Baroque stuff, all I can say is WHEE!! Love it. More to come . . .
Hello, it's been awhile - Just an update on what I've been up to . . . I'm finishing up a grad degree at UTSA this semester*. The degree, although nominally a 'solo performance' degree, has managed to cover several areas of collaborative piano at the same time. For example: I began studying the harpsichord - which enabled me to learn/perform Brandenburg No. 5 last year with a chamber ensemble - and presently I'm prepping for a Baroque recital at the end of this month. Rachel Podger is doing a 1-week residency here, so I've been immersing myself in Telemann, Vivaldi, Bach and Purcell.
One of the harder things to adapt to (outside the completely altered touch needed on a different instrument) is the lack of 'written music'. Yes, there is a part - but it is mostly just a bass line. It takes a lot of familiarity with everyone's part to improv stuff with confidence.
Hence the listening - I hope to steal ideas as deftly as possible.
My solo recital is in February - and then sweet freedom (until the next thing pops up). Actually, I think I start Handel's Messiah in March, so I guess I don't get much of a break after all . . . sigh.
*and I must say, being a grad student is way better the 2nd time around. Now we have streaming music, online books, online EVERYTHING . . .
It's amazing when pianists have amassed experience in a specific area, such as instrumental collaborative piano - and then specialized even more with a specific instrument*, such as say, the saxophone. I found a few pianists who happened to perform saxophone rep as their specialty! Take a look at the rep lists of these NASA (North American Saxophone Alliance) Collaborative pianists: Casey Dierlam, Leng-leng Lam and Liz Ames. Think about creating your own niche, and check out local and international conferences for opportunities to use your repertoire strengths. *Often the result of the pianist dating/marrying said instrument player.
I started collecting ‘classical literature for church
services use’* from the Baroque era – first, Bach. As he is an outrageously prolific composer,
I kept it simple for now and went with selections from his better-known
composition groups. All of these are pieces I found appealing and can work up
in a couple of days/weeks. The added bonus is a lot of this is transferable to the organ, also. Here's what I've picked so far: