Guest Writer: Juliana Brandao
We woke up bright and early filled with enthusiasm for our second small choir rehearsal. We were greeted with the sounds of Peter Robb cheerily doing his best Julia Child impression in order to help us warm up our voices. It worked quite nicely! We felt the magic of music making strongly as an ensemble for the first time, especially through success in the piece Psalm 47. After lunch we had yet another rehearsal, this one including all choirs involved in the festival. We made great progress in the song “Circle of Motion” which Bob Chilcott wrote himself! We were then were graced by the presence of Maestro Rilling, the world renowned conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival, which is occurring simultaneously with the festival we’re involved in. We had the opportunity to ask him questions and he was very gracious and kind towards everyone.
After rehearsal we went back to our dorms and changed into our performance outfits and then headed to dinner. We quickly had a fantastic meal so that we could get to the Pacific Lutheran Church for our sound check. We became quite amped up for the performance and used our energy to prepare for our set of music. We were third in the program of the Sharing Our Songs Concert for that evening, so we watched the Blair Children’s Chorus and the Partners in Praise Girls Choir before it was time for us to take to the stage.
We intended to make a mark on the audience, and many would say that we did just that! We started with a dramatic entrance through the aisles of the church while singing Stephen Hatfield’s Uberlebensgroß, which was a great success. We then performed Hot Tea, Mint, and Olives which intrigued the audience as the Arabic style of music is rarely used in Children’s Choral music. Afterwards, we sang Lift Thine Eyes, Hold On, and In Paradisum, all a cappella pieces which we transitioned between without the use of piano by using solfege methods to find our starting pitches. We closed with Eternity which was very rewarding to sing as the church allowed our sound to resonate beautifully. After our section of the concert we heard the Heartland Youth Choir, and the Spivey Hall Children’s Chorus, both of which sounded fabulous. Overall, the concert was very rewarding and left us with confidence in ourselves and the other choirs, as well as exhausted and excited for the days to come.