Tag Archives: Nancy Olson-Chatalas

Your Life is a Garden Worth Tending


How about a little spring?

I was so ready for it.  Were you?
I have enjoyed the simple and rewarding messy chore of getting some planting done in my garden.
David Marshall has been over here rehabilitating my deck.
There are wonderful colorful flowers peeking out all over.

It feels good.

 How about a little spring in your sing?  I know it is silly, but let’s get our congratulations hat on and enjoy the progress you are making in your fertile lives.  Our website will soon have a Congratulations Page so that we can enjoy NOC Studio Singers’ wonderful accomplishments. So much beautiful singing is happening.  Let’s take a look at specific bench marks and goals that keep you feet moving forward row by row.  Along with that, how can you be always in the moment and still set those goals and enjoy the progress in that very instant.

This NOC Studio set up for spring and summer and some of the fall is taking shape.  Executive Assistant Excellante, Liz Bacon, is weeding out dates and getting all the emails set up.  If you haven’t updated her with you vitals, please, do.  Plant your PR photo, too and your updated resume on her email, so we can broadcast your wonders on this web site.  We have several Master Classes scheduled, a Wednesday noon concert at the Old Church, and Schubert evening, a house concert,
and a Fall Retreat at Skamania Lodge among other wonderful projects.

Renee Favand-See is finishing up her commissioned composition for Resonance Ensemble.  It will be premiered on March 18th and 19th with that wonderful group and the sensitive conducting of Kathy FitzGibbon.   I am holding a reception in my home to congratulate Renee after the concert on the 18th.  Plan to come for that harvest.

Blessings to each and every one of you: each of you, living, growing, sneezing, greening and adding on one leaf at a time to your beautiful and challenging lives.  Oh, and forgive all my gardening humor, but I can’t help it!  It is, after all,
spring and you are fertile soil!


Nancy Olson Chatalas


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Singer, Lie Down and Dream Me

Singer, lie down and dream me. Dream the singing.
Dream the singing dream the singing easy generous. Remember the dream: vibrating my stories raucous vibrant juicy luscious greedy wise newborn.
Singer, sit and dream me. Dream my singing.
Dream perfection of human voice housed in human body. Dream varied dreamy foggy dream colored crying longing guttural literal water fire wind rocks mountains anguish astonishment baby human fragile cries greed intrigue rhymes cedar incense footsteps wide-eyes connected to all things
Singer, stand up. Root in me.
Dream ancient singing rooted from the roots of the roots of the center of the earth. Singing dreams me generous easy. Singing dreams me luscious remembers vibrates me and intones stories sounds juicy lip licking colors bloody agony old man’s guts cries waves churning light on water dreaming wonder.
Singer, stand up. Dance my graciousness.
The singing is dreaming me. Perfection here now what comes perfect changes always changes. Perfection is dreaming only in the moment with memories in the past. Memorizing the moment breath whisper lips raucous call throaty belly fire dreaming ringing the sigh of the moment. Perfection is mourning the passing of the seconds. Mourning what it cannot hold. Giving up. Weeping. Smiling. Sacrificing the holding. Remembering the moment to the moment in the moment in the moment.
Perfection sings. Sighs the moment. Screams the minutes. Seduces the seconds.
Dances the rhythms. Laughs the irony. Embraces the word.
Now and now and now and now changes the moment connects all things.
Singer to singer to singer to singer to singer to singer to singer to singer to singer
Singer, wake up. Live the moment in the moment.
Take root in me.
Take root my fire your breath my lips your teeth your tongue my belly your aching and arching.
You are rooted in me.
Singer, live here live now remember.
Dream my beauty.


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I love words and I love typing them out as a meditation. Here is a great one for a summer day.






Ode to the Artichoke by Pablo Neruda
The tender-hearted
got dressed as a warrior,
erect, built
a little cupola,
its scales,
around it
the crazy vegetables
astonishing tendrils,
cattail, bulbs,
in the subsoil
slept the carrot
with its red whiskers,
The grapevine
dried the runners
through which it carries the wine,

The cabbage
devoted itself
to trying on skirts,
to perfuming the world,
and the gentle
stood there in the garden,
dressed as a warrior,
like a pomegranate,
and one day
along with the others
in large willow
baskets, it traveled
to the market
to realize its dream:
the army.
Amid the rows
never was it so military
as at the fair,
among the vegetables
with their white shirts
of the artichokes,
the tight ranks,
the voices of command,
and the detonation
of a falling crate,
with her basket,
an artichoke,
isn’t afraid of it,
examines it, holds it
to the light as if it were an egg.
buys it,
mixes it up
in her bag
with a pair of shoes,
with a head of cabbage and a
of vinegar
entering the kitchen
she submerges it in a pot.
Thus ends
in peace
the career
of the armored vegetable
which is called artichoke,
then scale by scale
we undress
its delight
and we eat
the peaceful flesh
of its green heart.

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Here is what I do.

“To Do No Harm” is the motto of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. I ask myself every time I teach,“ How I can honor this?” So, here is what I do.
I guide the singer to understand how the voice works from a scientific basis. I encourage each singer to understand their own voice. I find repertoire that brings out the best in the singer at the stage they are in, and gives them a vision of what can be with their potential. I encourage independence in each singer and give them means to ‘intervene’ on their own behalf through skill building tools, goal oriented and effective practice techniques, networking skills, and healthy singing.
“None of your students sound the same…” someone said to me. It is true that if you encourage a singer to understand how the voice works, and to pay attention to their own bodies as they sing, a uniqueness and individuality does come forth. Learning to release and enjoy the sounds with the poetry and music is vital. To discover step by step that no phrase, no one note is static. Singing involves movement, imagination and flow. So does growth.
If you
…hear a little voice inside that wants to be expressed
…believe you are a work in progress
…love to tell stories through singing
…have always thought you wanted to sing
…have a curiosity about singing
…think it’s fun to practice a discipline like a trained athlete
…want to get your voice back in shape for an audition or a performance
…believe that your life is a journey and a process— that you are always growing
Then you should email me at nocstudio@gmail.com
or call me at 971-235-3394 and we’ll set up an appointment to talk about your goals.

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NOC Studio Mother’s Day Extravaganza Benefit Concert a Great Success!

Singing Actors from NOC Studio perform “Pierre- A Cautionary Tale” at recent Mother’s Day Benefit (L to R: Jon Stuber, Weston Roth, Liz Bacon & Cynthia Boelling. In Front Greta Boelling, on Piano: Signe Lusk) May 14, 2012


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