Laurie Rubin first came to hear about the San Francisco Girls Chorus when she was their age, singing in a California All-State Honor Choir which was led by a former music director of the group. Years later, and an accomplished mezzo-soprano, she joins them this Saturday night, singing works by Chausson, Holst, and Janacek. She’ll also sing an arrangement of a song that she and her wife co-wrote called ‘The Girl I Am.’
There’s more information about the concert at the San Francisco Girls Chorus website.
Laurie Rubin, whose memoir Do You Dream in Color describes her experiences growing up as a singer who happened to be blind, now lives in Hawaii, where she and her wife Jennifer Taira run the Ohana Arts program. She was able to work with the San Francisco Girls Chorus in the filming of scenes of Artistic Director Lisa Bielawa’s multi-year opera project called Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser. “So, she made one of my dreams come true, of being able to sing with them — even though I was no longer a girl — but I still got to sing with them. And they were just surrounding me in this big room, and it was just like hearing this wafting angelic sound, and just… to be part of that landscape of sound, and to come out of that was really incredible.” She’s been championed by Frederica von Stade, and several years ago, composer Bruce Adolphe asked her to write a poem about her experience of blindness, which he set (and also is called Do You Dream in Color). She says that it’s getting past the fears of directors and conductors that is among her biggest challenges: “Because you can’t just go into an audition and say, ‘Hi, I’m Laurie, I’m blind, but that doesn’t really mean anything – I do this, I used to snow-ski… you know, like I can’t talk about all of that in an audition. All I do is sing my five minutes of music.”