Q&A with MPLS (imPulse) singer, Regina Stroncek.
Tell us a little bit about your musical life!
I studied Vocal Performance and Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota (Ski-U-Mah!) and now I’m singing in a variety of ensembles and projects throughout the Cities. I’m a soprano section leader at the Cathedral in St. Paul, and I sing in MPLS (imPulse), the Minnesota Chorale, and Hymnos. Recently I participated in the MN Duo program of Source Song Festival, and I teach voice lessons out of Chanson Voice and Music Academy. I am also a Spanish Pre-K Immersion Teacher through Concordia Language Villages and I make use of my musical skills by singing Spanish songs with my students!
How does MPLS (imPulse) play a part in your musical life?
MPLS (imPulse) musically keeps me on my toes with its creative programming and commitment to eclectic excellence. There’s never a dull moment. At any point in time you might be asked to sing Swedish-sounding gibberish, make clicky sounds throughout a song, or drunkenly stumble into place at the top of the concert. I’ve been exposed to so much new repertoire through working with the group, especially scores that contain graphic notation. It stretches the way I think about interpreting music and gives me the opportunity to develop new skills as a singer.
Why did you decide to get involved with MPLS (imPulse)?
I started with MPLS (imPulse) in its first season after Sam approached me with his idea. The model sounded fun: stick a bunch of singers together for a weekend of intensive rehearsals with team building, food, and challenging music that they’ve prepared ahead of time, and then perform in unique and unexpected venues. The emphasis on community building was what appealed most to me, and it has not disappointed! I’ve made so many new friends and strengthened friendships I already had. As a result I’ve grown as a musician and I am more aware of the music we create as an ensemble.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I’m a huge fan of traveling, both internationally and within the United States. I love exploring new places, meeting people, and collecting stories. I’ve been overseas a couple of times, and some of my favorite places I visited were Spain, Portugal, France, and Germany, to name a few. Stateside, my favorite things to visit are roadside attractions. If there is a random billboard on the side of the highway advertising the “World’s-Largest-Whatever” or some strangely specific museum in a small town, I will go out of my way to see it!
If you have a favorite musical themed pun or joke, what is it?
Oh boy, do I. A friend and I had this running joke during our time at the School of Music that we would make a cooking show incorporating composer names (and their mispronunciations) into recipes, including:
“Make sure you Phillip the Glass to the right line!”
“Oh no! You made such a Messiaen!”
“Now go ahead and Satie those mushrooms!”
“Let’s see what’s Haydn in the Beethoven!”
and my personal favorite “Oh Schütz! We took the Bach of cookies out of the oven too Wagn’-early!”