Monday, April 28, 2008
BCC Benefit Concert!
Guest Writers: Madison Gordon and Jennifer Selvidge
Dreams Come True: a fitting title for a benefit concert for the Boston Children’s Chorus, because for some kids, BCC is just that. With the help of the Boston Children’s Chorus, singers that cannot afford the tuition are not barred from the chorus and these benefit concerts help to cover the cost. They are very important to us as without these concerts, some of our singers, who want so much to sing, wouldn’t have an opportunity to do so. And as with all concerts, we united as a group to pull our set together. Now it may sound like we, the BCC singers and staff did this concert alone, but this is most certainly not the case. We as a choir would like to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield, our lead corporate sponsor, as well as all of our other corporate sponsors. Additionally, we would like to thank the New England Conservatory for being our lead artistic partner. Last but certainly not least, who could forget the fabulous people at Concord Baptist Church, who lent us their space. And as usual we would like to thank Anthony Trecek-King, Michele Adams, and June Ambush, for their support of us and for pushing us to achieve.
We began the concert with the lovely voices of the training choirs. They sang Alleluia by W.A. Mozart and it was such a pleasure to listen to. We saw the future of the choir in these beautiful young voices, and let me tell you our future is looking bright! We then transitioned from our youngest chorus to the oldest as Premier Choir sang Lift Thine Eyes (Mendelssohn) from the balcony of the auditorium. This was spectacular because the overtones could really flourish from our unique and elevated location.
The next voices to sing were those of the intermediate choirs. They sang Winds by Larysa Kuzmenko followed by Hasivenu (arranged by Doreen Rao), an Israeli folk song. We especially enjoyed the latter song because it demonstrated even further how much diversity we have in BCC, not just in our singers but in our repertoire as well. The finale for the intermediate choirs was the cherished piece When I Close my Eyes by Jim Papoulis with our very own artistic director Anthony Trecek-King accompanying them on the cello. This song, soon to become a BCC classic, was strengthened by the wonderful blend of voices and strings.
The training choirs then sang Lets all Sing Together by Susie Davies conducted by Michele Adams, who always conducts with such energy and enthusiasm. Then all the choirs of BCC joined to sing Dona Nobis Pacem literally translated “Give Us Peace”. It was sung in a round, starting with the Training Choirs, followed by the Intermediate Choirs, and finishing with the Premier Chorus. Concert Choir then had its debut singing Ave Maria op. 19b by Antonin Dvorak, Let the River Run (arranged by Jay Althouse), and Thula S'Thandwa, a traditional Zulu lullaby arranged by Nick Page. Premier as a whole was greatly impressed by the growth apparent in Concert Choir, who has improved immensely since the beginning of the season. The training choirs then made their final solo performance singing Come Follow Me by John Hilton.
Finally it was time for Premier Chorus to take the stage, singing Lacrymosa by W.A. Mozart arranged by Robinson a beautiful and dynamically rich piece. Following Lacrymosa was Niska Banja, a flirtatious Serbian Gypsy dance song with soloists Georgia Halliday on soprano and Casey Accardi on alto. Finally, in honor of our Director of Operations & Programs, Mr. David Howse, Premier sang Can You Hear by Jim Papoulis.
As the evening came towards its finish, Young Men’s Voice Choir, BCC’s only all boys choir, sang Down in the Valley, a Kentucky folk song and Swing down Chariot arranged by Andre Thomas with fantastic solos from Grant Jones and Cautchy Bailey. YMVC really brought the crowd to their feet with this ending spiritual, and were most certainly a favorite of the evening.
Our final song was Siyahamba, from an arrangement by Henry Leck. All of our choirs sang together on it and the result was a masterpiece. Every voice was lifted in song, which is fitting, as the South African standard is a crying out for justice and freedom in South Africa. It is only with support from the people that a cry such as this could be heard. Siyahamba is an outcry from liberty, similarly BCC is effectively an outcry for social change. So this was a fitting end to our stellar concert. The children of BCC are ambassadors, sharing love in the form of song. This evening of song brought us together. Marvelous job to all those who performed, and to our audience members and readers of this blog, I hope you enjoyed our concert and will join us in trying to spread song. (Or maybe just at our next concert ☺)