October 24, 2021

Fun Girls

Shopping & Women Not Included

Local community refrain director sings his finale

8 min read

“Music has normally been a section of my lifestyle.”

Considering the fact that he was a boy developing up in a suburb of Rochester, N.Y., Jeff Rehbach was surrounded and motivated by songs.

“My moms and dads sang in the Lutheran church choir in my hometown, and my young sister, brother and I all sang in the youth choir at the church,” he explained in a recent job interview. “Our aunts, uncles and first cousins gathered at Christmastime to sing carols alongside one another every 12 months from the time we ended up all in elementary faculty correct by way of substantial school and early faculty several years.”

He picked up the violin in fourth grade and ongoing with that via higher school and for the duration of his higher education yrs at Cornell University, wherever he performed in the orchestra, chamber ensembles and accompanying musicals. At Cornell, Rehbach also commenced to participate in viola, which he carries on to do with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra.

Here in Addison County, we know Rehbach as the director of the Middlebury School Community Refrain, a 90-voice ensemble of community singers that he has led since 2000. But the time has arrive for Rehbach to move the baton to Jeff Buettner, director of choral routines at Middlebury University.

“During the coming yrs, I’ll to continue on to perform Middlebury’s yearly holiday ‘Messiah Sing’ as the local community gathers to make audio collectively,” Rehbach spelled out. “I appear ahead to actively playing chamber music and orchestral new music on viola (with a new instrument built by Vermont luthier Warren Ellison), utilizing a manufacturer new viola bow — a present introduced to me by the Refrain — hand-crafted by H. F. Grabenstein in Williston.”

Rehbach reported he hopes to have some chances to guest carry out, to continue on to participate in and to sing with a variety of ensembles, and to journey with his wife, Meredith.

“I think it’s heading to be excellent!” he said

Rehbach just lately took time to mirror on his occupations and share his activities.

What brought you to Middlebury College as Music Librarian in 1981?

I entered Cornell University to examine engineering, but always took music history and music theory courses as my electives. Just in advance of the conclusion of my junior calendar year, I switched majors from chemical engineering to new music. This transfer arrived whilst functioning as a university student assistant in Cornell’s spectacular audio library, the place I observed the prospective of a long run profession route as a professional music librarian. Immediately after graduating in 1975, I stayed on at Cornell, performing in the library while finding out musicology, conducting choirs, and commuting to Syracuse for coursework in librarianship and information and facts research. This was just as laptop or computer units and databases very first materialized to change paper indexes and library card catalogs.

I finished my courses of study (for a Master of Library and Information and facts Science) at Syracuse College in 1981 I concluded producing my Cornell master’s thesis in 1982 right after I experienced settled in Vermont. In 1981, adhering to interviews for numerous new music library positions throughout the U.S., I jumped at the chance to come to Middlebury to develop up the college’s reasonably new music library and to stay in the beauty of Vermont. I even now recall when I stepped into Mead Chapel for the 1st time that yr, and straight away felt a sense of remaining at dwelling (the choirs at Cornell all rehearsed in its chapel). Now, for the earlier 20 decades, I’ve used many hours in the chapel, both foremost the University Chamber Singers in the early 2000s, and as conductor of the Faculty Community Refrain due to the fact 2000.

What have been some of the highlights of your Library & Information and facts Sciences job?

Middlebury Faculty furnished several alternatives above the several years to “spread my wings.” With history from my scientific studies at Syracuse, I served the school library choose and put into practice its 1st online catalog system. It went “live” 35 a long time back at the start of the fall 1986 phrase, with aged fashioned laptop terminals mounted on counters in the foyer of Starr Library.

By 1995, I was doing work with computing support expert services on campus. We introduced our to start with web-site that yr, continued to introduce particular pcs to college and team workplaces, and, by tumble 1986 CHECKis it 1996??it goes from 1995 again to 1986…, wired almost just about every dorm area on campus for network entry as college students started to get there on campus with PCs and Macs.

Some of us may possibly bear in mind the worries of Y2K as we examined just about every pc and program application on campus to guarantee they wouldn’t crash as we transitioned from 1999 to the yr 2000. We had been 100% profitable.

When the libraries and data technological know-how departments merged in the early 2000s, I moved to a new part as particular jobs manager. I especially savored doing the job with architects, services planners, and colleagues on so lots of information of the new Davis Relatives Library, from picking out furniture to location the purchase of the books on the 1000’s of yards of new shelving. Ultimately the undertaking entailed the relocation of almost 700,000 guides and magazines, and 70 staff members and faculty associates from 7 destinations across campus to their new workplaces — all in just a seven-7 days window!

What have been some of the highlights of your musical vocation?

Oh, so quite a few! In significant school I significantly bear in mind playing with our orchestra my senior 12 months when the university developed “West Facet Story.” My orchestra instructor every weekend loaned me the comprehensive rating of Leonard Bernstein’s incredible musical — with all its instrumental, refrain and solo elements handwritten across its substantial pages — and I initially began to instruct myself to browse and carry out from a score that 12 months.

In excess of the years, singing in choirs has been so fulfilling beneath magnificent conductors this kind of as Michael Tilson Thomas (when I was a singer with the Cornell Glee Club and Refrain) and Robert De Cormier, Kate Tamarkin, Jamie Laredo, and José Daniel Flores-Caraballo with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Refrain. I discover so much by specifically observing and participating in their rehearsals and performances. In this article in Middlebury, singing the Brahms “Requiem” under Emory Fanning’s route stays a vivid memory.

In 1984, we held our initial Middlebury Messiah Sing — and that continues annually! From 1985 to 1999, it was a privilege to lead the church choir at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. In 1990, almost 100 singers from nearby choirs arrived jointly to perform Haydn’s two-hour prolonged oratorio “The Creation” as we celebrated the church’s bicentennial. In the course of the late 1980s and 1990s, I beloved aiding with neighborhood theater teams and the Addison County Youth Refrain, particularly the shows “Oliver” and “You’re a Great Man, Charlie Brown” that bundled my move-little ones Alasdair Submit-Quinn and Margaret Quinn.

Primary the Middlebury College or university Chamber Singers from 2000-2007 was also a delight. I appreciated performing closely with so quite a few gifted students, and, primarily our singing in the annual Assistance of Lessons and Carols in Mead Chapel every December. Presenting a freshly commissioned work by Middlebury Higher education alumna Christina Whitten Thomas (a past Chamber Singers singer) with the Vermont Choral Union five decades in the past was a treat.

And, for these past 20 decades it has been an honor to guide the School Group Refrain — with a record that stretches back to the 1850s — and its virtually 600 distinctive singers, such as university college students and group customers from throughout the area. Through my very first year with the Chorus in 2000, we organized for the premiere of Peter Hamlin’s “Reflections of the Sky” for the college or university bicentennial. Given that then, performances that have incorporated new is effective by neighborhood musicians Sam Guarnaccia, Moira Smiley, Nate Gusakov and Sally Hoyler have also manufactured this encounter so loaded. How fantastic it is been to collaborate with our remarkable accompanists George Matthew Jr. and Tim Guiles, as we have executed classical functions and released a new era of composers to our singers and audiences.

How do these two primary channels of your operate-everyday living hook up or relate to one another?

My function in library and information and facts methods and with choirs can demand a “vision” and a method with several methods along the way. If we’re building a site, for case in point, we visualize and outline its articles and we discuss with people about how they may well interact with it. We investigate, articulate and doc the path that prospects to its implementation. Alongside the way, we normally require, mentor, manual and inspire men and women who function alongside one another to produce the ultimate product.

Setting up performances encompasses background analysis, listening and searching at music scores and their texts. How to foresee how they will occur with each other meaningfully for performers and audiences alike. We understand the new music phase by stage, gradually giving condition to an unique track as we merge its phrases and melodies and harmonies. Insert to this, creating and printing plans, reserving spaces, publicity, configuring lights and seating, and a lot more — a entire inter-linked procedure — in the end effects in an uplifting application that we offer you to our neighborhood.

How do you direct so a lot of voices so that the performances will come jointly so fantastically?

Regardless of whether a piece lasts a handful of minutes or 40 minutes, we patiently repeat in rehearsal its melodies, terms, and rhythms its dynamics from the softest pianissimo to the strongest fortissimo we discover to shape of every single line of new music and give it a feeling of path.

From one rehearsal to the subsequent, our voices and our minds begin to recall just about every phrase. We apply how to condition vowels and deliver consonants uniformly. Most importantly, we come to understand how we listen to a person one more, and from that to sing “with just one voice” in harmony and in neighborhood. We snicker, we share, we enable go of ourselves, and we allow the dots and strains and symbols on a web site of tunes shift into our minds and hearts and voices to build songs that is uniquely human, gorgeous and inspiring.

After 21 yrs directing the Middlebury School Neighborhood Refrain, what are your primary takeaways? Do you have any parting words you’d like to share with the group?

As I shared with the chorus when we collected and sang outside together at the conclusion of August — the initially time we had been with each other in human being because the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Vermont in March 2020 — I imagine our human nature instinctively weaves our lives with each other, that is, to dance in live performance. Certainly, our word “chorus” will come from the historical Greek term “khorus” which means a dance. Physically, we develop and listen to singing as sound waves that shift via time and space. Then, with a feeling of mystery and marvel, music transcends time and room as we sing “with heart” and uncover ourselves related coronary heart to coronary heart. As a local community chorus, we enter into a particular communion with just one an additional and with our local community at large as we share music that gives voice to light and darkness, joy and sorrow, existence and death, hope and remembrance. The spirit of music unites us in this dance of lifestyle.

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