|"A boy sings ... a beautiful thing."|
Donald Collup sang as a boy soprano with the Texas Boys' Choir from 1965 to 1970. He is remembered by Maestro George Bragg in this way:
"It is not often that the Fates bring together two talents that complement each other, but such was the case with Donald Collup. He was the greatest gift ever given to me in the form of a student and a voice.
"Donald came to the Texas Boys Choir when he was 10 years old. He fit into the soprano section comfortably and worked on technique for about a year before he began to expand his horizons.
"We had a project to record the works of an English librettist, and Donald learned the songs. When it was time to record the works, Donald qualified for a number of solos. About 3 months later, I gave Donald a copy of Mozart's 'Exultate Jubilate'. This was accompanied with a recording of the work by a 'fine European soprano.'
"He came to me 3 days later with the entire work memorized. We worked through the second section first, the 'Alleluia', bit by bit at a time. The rehearsal was done before the group work, approximately 20 minutes every day.
"After we learned the 'Alleluia', we combined vocal technique that was suitable for the problems as they appeared. Later we worked on the other sections in the same way that we had worked the first.
"Finally, we managed to get the whole work under control . We had labored for about 3 months.
"Everything was in order. We decided to present the work intact with orchestra. We had six concerts lined up, and it was important that the first performance was successful.
"It came off, as did the follow-up concerts. He sang beautifully thereafter. Beautiful, robust, languid tones, with crisp diction. His voice opened up and became bigger and more appealing.
"A few years later, he went to Peabody Conservatory. He kept his flowing voice and developed into a fine singer."
Left-click the link below to see a video clip from the Texas Boys' Choir documentary film "A Time of Waking" that features Donald Collup singing 'Alleluja' from Mozart's 'Exsultate jubilate'. (Right-click the download link to download the file.)
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This page was last modified on 03 September 2004