ACDA Eastern Division Convention Performance, February 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10th, 6:15am. The sleepy members of Women's Chorale (or WoCho, as we lovingly call it) gathered in the Whalen Center. Drowsily greeting one another, we unanimously looked forward to our trip to Philadelphia. Even the persistent snow could not dampen our spirits. The long slow busride through the swirling whiteness was far from a setback. We arrived at the beautiful Baptist church at 1:15pm and had plenty of time to settle in and unload our equipment before our 3:00 rehearsal.
We had the pleasure of sitting in on the dress rehearsal of the Rutger's Men's Glee Club. It was fun to see a different choral directer at work. Directly after this rehearsal, it was WoCho's turn to sing. We worked with our esteemed conductor, Janet Galvan. She encouraged us to feel the space--hear the live acoustics--and let our voices float. With every song we rehearsed, our hearts grew with pride and anticipation. We felt it would be a fine performance the next day.
Thursday morning all of WoCho met up at 9am, energized and ready to put on a top quality performance. We arrived at the church and spent some time warming up on our own. How inspiring to hear each individual voice gracing various scales and arpeggios! Within a few moments, we started our group warm up. It was clear that everyone was ready to shine.
Our concert was at 11:15. Walking onto the stage, we felt our chins rise with pride--pride for our work, our conductor, and most importantly, the music. The program opened with the rousing "Ho-ja-ja," a piece that depicts gossip being shouted across mountains. Next, we sang the personal and intimate "Lake Ilse of Innisfree." Next was the powerful "Vivos voco," a majestic piece inspired by the tolling of bells. Our centerpiece was the heartbreaking "Ahuv sheli;" this song of grief left us all--audience and performers alike--speechless and motionless. Next, every head in the house shot up in surprise as we started the wild and bright "Pseudo Yoik Lite." This piece, written in a made-up language, continued to shock and excite with complex canons and surprising foot stomps. We returned to a song of gossip with the Colombian "Maximina" and showed off our dancing skills. Our last piece was the gloriously uplifting gospel piece, "Still I Rise." Many WoCho members exclaimed, "We were preachin'!" The fantastic soloist, Adiza Jibril moved the audience as she walked up and down the aisles.
It was a thrilling performance. Performers left the stage smiling, and the audience applauded with enthusiasm. We unanimously agreed that something special just happened. This was a performance to remember. All of WoCho was grateful for the fine talents of all our instumentalists for their stunning musicality. Everyone laughed and cheered. One WoCho member proclaimed, "I feel like I just won a competition!" Clearly, eveyone was touched. Everyone felt the joy.
What a privilege to be part of such a performance, such a fine chorus, and to share such fantastic music. WoCho--and their audience--certainly have had a grand adventure!
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