I’m not sure what triggered it, but today I did a search on YouTube for my former choir director, Paul Salamunovich, and found this:
Okay, I’m not asking you to look at almost 10 minutes of video of a boring chorale/orchestral performance (or am I)?
I just had to post this because I totally remember this performance (I am somewhere on the middle-left, about three rows back) and it brought back such vivid memories of a very important time in my life.
At the time, 1987, I had a very good, clear, soprano voice. By the time I graduated I was a second soprano. Now I can hardly sing at all. Must be all the whiskey and cigarettes.
But most importantly, I want to say that Paul Salamunovich was a very important man in my life. He was inspiring, unyielding, and completely unforgiving if you missed a note (and if you couldn’t sight sing, forget it, get the fuck out of here). And he could coax the sweetest of sounds out of the most clueless of freshmen. I know, because I was one of them. Every rehearsal was a performance, and he explained the music in such a way that it felt like theatre–you weren’t just singing, you were acting, you were being the music. Sound poetic, and in a way I’m sure it is–you know the memory of an eighteen year-girl. Always romance and flowers.
He is, to use a very tired cliche, the real deal. And I am so very proud to have been able to work with him.