Since receiving her DMA from the Eastman School of Music, Dr. Lerch has taught voice, diction, repertoire, pedagogy, chorus, chamber singers, chamber ensemble, opera and musical theater workshop, ear training, piano for voice teachers, and musicianship at Cornish College of the Arts.
Singing is about bringing the joy of doing it. Dr. Lerch will be starting the Encore Chorale of Redmond, meeting Thursdays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at The Church of the Holy Cross in Redmond to share music. If you want to sing, join them. Beginners are welcome. You’ll learn how to match pitch, learn how to listen, and how to blend. The church is at 11526 162nd Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Welcome to the answers for elders radio show. meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and we’ll help guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susanne Newman. And Welcome back everyone to answers for alders radio network. And we are celebrating joy by the gift of Song, and that is coming to the Greater Seattle area in the eyes of on the in the umbrella of encord creativity, which is a nonprofit organization that has been sweeping across the country, now coming to our puget sound area and we are honored to have Dr Natalie lurched with us this hour. and Dr Natalie, thank you for being here with answers for alders radio. We’re really excited to talk to you. Thank you. So this is a wonderful program and opportunity and I love the idea of collaborating. That’s what I do too, so we’ll do we’ll definitely dom collaborating, because I think that’s what you’re doing. Obviously, two now I’ve shared all my um all my uh you know, my emotional uh warm fuzzies about my experiences with choirs, and so Dr Natalie, tell us. I know all about you because I’ve researched you because I’m having you on my show, but I would love to have our listeners learn a little bit about your background. Well, okay, my background actually started Um. I started singing because I grew up in the Mennonite church and the Mennonite in Ohio were all about acapella singing and so as a child my dad would sit, my mom would be in the choir and my dad and my sister and I would sit in the back of the Church and during the hymns he would lift me on so I was standing on the Pew. I would hold on to his shoulders and I would look at the hymnal over his shoulders and listen to four, six and eight part acapella singing around me. That’s what I grew up and my sister is a professional violinist and I in the professional vocal that’s kind of the start of it all. My parents, when they gave us music lessons because they wanted us to understand music, neither of them were Um, really Um taught. They picked up music. My mother diddled around at Piano and she sang. My Dad played trombone and he sang. They were in numerous Um choirs singing the messiah throughout their lives and I grew up. My First Messiah chorus singing was when I was thirteen. Wow, wow, and you did the whole. You did the whole thirteen years old. That is incredible. I Know I love twenty minutes of it or something like that. I got to the Amen Chorus and I was in tears at age thirteen and it is quite an experience to sing the Messiah. I have done it many times. So absolutely. So. Yeah. So then, you know, I continued. I took voice lessons and flute lessons. I got my my undergraduate degree from the University of Alaska in voice. I was out of school for a long time and then I decided I did a lot of different kinds of jobs and I was always singing and acting and dancing and doing all of that stuff, but I wanted to really focus in on music as my livelihood and so I went back for my master’s and then I got my doctor at Eastman and then I got hired by Cornish College of the Arts almost twenty two years ago and moved to Seattle, from Rochester, New York, and Cornish is like the place it is. It is the place that every musician is Um, you know, is is aspiring to think, oh, that’s the that’s the promised land, you know, that’s an amazing school. And then they learned, they have that they have to learn music theory. And I was a piano player, so I did good with music theory. Now that you did too. And singers actually need music theory more than any other instrument because you have to understand what you’re hearing absolutely. You have to fit in and you have to match pitch and you don’t have something that’s helping you, you’ve got to think exactly with your voice. Yeah, it’s so cool when you can do that. It’s so exciting. Yeah, and and certainly, Um, having that kind of background. I I went to Western, so I had, you know, I had a really pretty good background. But the the thing that was interesting about my um world is I realized when I stepped into a music department like Western or, you know, which is not even holds the candle of a cornish is much more focused on the arts. But Um, I realized how untalented I really was. skepared to other people. You know, I went, oh my gosh, birds way higher than it was when I was in high school. So, oh my goodness. You know, it’s you know, it’s just about bringing the joy of doing it and being afraid to Um to know that you don’t know it all. I don’t know it all. You know, what they say about people who have education is that when you get your undergraduate degree, you think you know everything and then you go and you get your masters and you realize how much there is to learn exactly. Then you get your doctorate and you realize you know nothing at all. Well, you know, that’s a really good analogy for a lot of things in life. I would pretty much so. So obviously you got involved in on court. Tell us a little bit about that process. Well, I was talking. I teach a pedigog class at Cornish and so I was inviting guests Um to talk to our students about different pathways that they might take when they graduate, different ways to use their music degree to create a career, because we all know there’s no one path. You get to find your niche, you get to create things Um and so I was talking with Aaron Gwynnep who started the Tocome a refugee choir and he was one of my guests and she had a video and we were just talking about how she created this choir. She and Joshua Vickery are really, really good friends. Isn’t that? You see, the world such a world, I know, especially the musical world, and so Aaron introduced me to Joshua and Joshua and I started talking and we started talking about the possibility of encore corral of Redmond and then I actually got hooked into encore university and started teaching a class this summer called Shakespeare’s women in opera. Wow, so we got to just listen to operas together. That I found a different kinds of operas and different kinds of voices and all the women’s roles in the dramas and the comedies, and it’s just been so fabulous. I’ve just really employed myself. I just keep teaching and teaching and teaching, and so obviously we’re introduced to Joshua and that’s obviously why we are blessed to have your organization in this community and you’re going to be starting the for your first group this fall. Is that correct? Tell us a little bit about that. So this is going to be the encore corral of Redmond Um. I found a lovely location. It’s the I always have to look and make sure I get the name right, the Church of the Holy Cross in Redmond Um. It’s a kind of a I think that’s kind of a central location for the east side. I live in Kirkland, so it’s an easy zip across hundred and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna meet on Thursdays from two to three thirty and get together and share music. Um, I know a lot of people worry about not having the right experience or not knowing how to read music or not knowing whether or not they can match pitch. Doesn’t matter. If you want to sing, please come and join us, because that’s where you learn how to match pitch, you learn how to listen, learn what these other people are singing and, oh my I can actually harmonize with that. And you learned to blend in acquired and you learned. I know for me, I when everybody laughs when I tell them that I’m major to music, because but the thing that was amazing, but for what I do now, you better believe that a lot of things that I learned in college Um has taken me to this point because I you know, I’m a performer the same kind of thing. It’s just it just you pull the things that you’re good at. It pulls those things out of you and I think that’s one of the amazing things about music, for sure. So in in in that process. So you started, I’m assuming, forming this group earlier this year. Is that correct? When did you kind of get involved together? We started talking about this in March and Um, I started too long ago, not very long ago. I started researching things in April. We re I got the located. I felt like I had to find a venue because if you if you want to get people together, you’ve got to have a place to do it, and that’s always what’s hard to do. It’s finding a place. And I found Um, the church, and they were really open to it and I talked with the pastor and I talked with the music Um Minister and they were just really enthusiastic about contributing to the community by hosting us. So that was the first step. Then I started kind of researching different senior senior centers, retirement communities, trying to make some inroads, which has been. I finally got some phone numbers and I was able to make some phone calls and met with a lot of enthusiasm getting to that point. Trying to get into the activities director and get get on that side of it was a little bit tricky and since I knew it this Um I was always doing it very efficiently. So now you’ve got a humanity like me, for I know them all right. Yeah, help me with Beth Um. Now it’s just making connections and getting people to understand that this is not going to be scary. I’m going to help everybody breathe better, listen better, have really great posture feel comfortable. One of the most important things really about this group for me is collaborating and community. So I want people who are looking for a community to feel welcome to come and enjoy the music, learn how to sing or learn how to sing better. Um Two, explore music and really enjoy um singing with other people. There’s there’s so much. We’re each an individual, which is so exciting, but we can also join our voices together and become more so if we want to get involved, Dr Natalie, how do we do so? Go to encore creativity dot org. And look for the encore corral of Redmond. There should be registration information there. You can come to the first two rehearsals without committing. Just foursdays at two o’clock you can meet me see if you like my style. Hopefully you’ll like my sense of humor, and then we can go from there. Well, we’re very excited, obviously, to have you and coming up next, Dr Natalie and I are going to go and do a little bit more of a deep dive. I’m going to ask her all about the music you’re gonna sing and even more, and we’ll be right back right after this. We it answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guides. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find US AND ANSWERS FOR ELDERS DOT COM.
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Originally published August 14, 2022