MasterClass Monday: Elvis Presley If I Can Dream Video Speaks To All Of Us

Elvis Presley, If I Can Dream, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

If ever there was a song and video that speaks to the current world situation, it has to be this powerful performance of”If I Can Dream” by The King himself, Elvis Presley. The message contained in this song rings loud and clear and strikes at the heart and soul of the uncertain times in which we live. 

Every aspect of this performance spoke to me as an artist, teacher and human being. Everything. 

First of all – the performance  – and the fact that it was performed live.  LIVE. And, if there are any doubters out there that this was not the case, then check out Elvis’  breathy “Thank You and Good Night” at the end of this video performance.  He could barely speak. Actually, it made me smile and ponder how he could sing without evidence of a breathy quality in his voice since vocal fatigue was not an issue until the song was over.  He kept the momentum and the adrenaline moving throughout this number similar to how an athlete pushes himself toward the finish line and then collapses 

This man poured every ounce of strength he could summon to communicate an inspiring, living and monumental performance of this number without worrying about whether he should stage the number for greater visual effect. There was no need.  Elvis lived it and allowed his body and voice to reach the audience in a very spiritual and meaningful way. No lights, no fancy stage decorations, no jumping around.  Just Elvis at his best – or rather, better than his best. 

This is what one calls artistry. 

And then there is THE VOICE. As a vocal teacher, I watched in awe as this gifted performer from humble beginnings sang with what I can say are impeccable technical skills. The round mouth, the relaxed jaw, the open and liberated body movements, the forward momentum of the phrase lines,  the seamlessly sustained vowels – all these elements and more were a joy to behold. 

Like everything else Elvis did during his iconic singing career, part of me wonders if this was self taught. Some singers are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and, instinctively, know how to sing. It really is a gift. However, given that Elvis was blessed with a naturally beautiful voice, this made the technical  hurdles an easier road for him. No matter the reason, the technical skill was “on the money”. 

And, then, there was the message. You know, I have heard this song often over the years and yet it touched me more than ever over the past couple of days here. Given the turmoil of today’s world, the message resounded more potently than ever before. Elvis sang it like a prayer and the spiritual impetus was not lost on this listener. 

And, it will touch you as well. I promise. 

“If I Can Dream” is available on Amazon as a single and or you can purchase the complete album.

Additonally, you can download the song or album on iTunes Music or stream it on Apple Music.

Enjoy the video below and please share your thoughts with the MCL community. 

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

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