My Voice Teacher: Lady Olivia Baker

I mentioned in my last post that Lady Olivia Baker, a phenomenal vocalist from Concordia of the Snows, has been giving me voice lessons this year. Apparently, working on my Troubadour scroll reminded Olivia that she had meant to discuss some of our vocal work in her own blog, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

Here is her post about our early work together, and her recommendations for performers about warming up their voices. I’m very grateful to Olivia for her encouragement, as well as her exacting and honest feedback on my vocal work this year. I’m also deeply grateful to Mistress Zsof, who as my Peer has made it clear she is comfortable with my working with any teacher that has help to offer me. The SCA model of mentorship and tutelage is a broad one, and styles, agreements, and outcomes will vary widely, but I am deeply happy with my experiences to date.

Companion of the Troubadour

So today was East Kingdom coronation in our second home, Barony of Concordia of the Snows. Their much-loved Majesties Brennan and Caoilfhionn returned to the throne, and there was much rejoicing.

It was a beautiful day. My teacher, Mistress Zsof, had come out from the Midrealm to celebrate our coronation with us (or so I thought).  There was a delicious day board, and at their Majesties’ first court, I got to see my friend Magnus Hvalmagi receive a well-earned writ of elevation to the Order of the Laurel.

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Letter from the Nursery

We just received this lovely letter from the director of the Therapeutic Nursery. As I’ve said before, credit goes to everyone who helped make Hidden Gold happen, and who made donations by purchasing it. There will be more donations forthcoming! Continue reading

Because it is my name…

A small update, but a meaningful one to me. After 23 years of “almost”, the name Drake Oranwood is finally registered to me.

For those of you who don’t play in the SCA, we take names seriously. Until recently, I couldn’t register Drake as my first name, because the heralds couldn’t find records during our period (pre-1650) showing it used as a first name, so I had to register it as my middle name. A short while back, that changed, thanks to access to new records. (Thank you to Mistress Alys Mackyntoich for finding it, telling us about it, and submitting the changes for me and for my wife, who is now officially Jessa de Hunteleghe!)

(And if anyone was wondering about the post title, it’s my favorite line from The Crucible.)

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Top 10 Moments from Pennsic

I’m a month late sharing my top 10 Pennsic moments. My bad. Here they are now:

10. Hearing the Hidden Gold tracks playing at Camelot Treasures and McGuire’s.
9. Being an organizer for the Bardic Collegium and the Exhibition. It was a privilege to help make those things happen.
8. Sharing a stage with Marian of Heatherdale, Efenwealt Wystle, Kiersa Meise, Olivia Baker, Faye de Trees, and Gwendolyn the Graceful all in the same hour. Being lifted by the support of your comrades is indescribable.
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New Bandcamp Store

Finally opened up a store on Bandcamp to sell the album. I love the way Bandcamp is laid out. Check it out! (Pretty, right?)

First Donation Sent to the Nursery!

It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce that we have just sent our first check, for $800, to The Therapeutic Nursery. This comprises all of our net proceeds, after expenses, for the first two months since the release of Hidden Gold.

I’ve spoken in this space before about the vital importance of early intervention programs for children with special needs, and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this project through their purchase, as well as everyone whose support made the album possible. I’m forever in your debt, and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to help the Nursery still more over the next couple of years. (Yes, we will continue donating all proceeds from the album sales for the next 22 months.)