Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Concert Choir performs at ACDA Big Sing!

On Tuesday, March 31st, Concert Choir performed at the American Choral Director's Association Children's Choir festival at St. Cecilia's Church in Boston. This performance was fun and unique because BCC was one of ten choirs performing, so the singers got to see other local groups sing and had the opportunity to learn from their performances. The festival was non-competititave and was adjudicated by David Hodgkins, artistic director of Coro Allegro. Concert Choir, the first group to perform, gave wondeful renditions of Bob Chilcott's "Circles of Motion" and Barbara Baker's "The Storm is Passing Over". St. Cecilia's church was an incredible space to perform in; the acoustics were amazing and the any seat in the house was a good seat.

Throughout the night, we heard from the All Together Now Family Chorus, the Peabody School Early Bird Singers, BU's Neshikot, The Boston City Singer's Jamaica Plain Training Chous and Concert Chorus, St. Mary's School Choir, John Marshall School Children's Chorus, The Gentlemen of Tufts University and the St. Theresa of Avila Children's Choir. Many of the groups sang old favorites of BCC's... The John Marshall School Children's Chorus' gave a lovely performance Show Me How, under the direction of former Villa Victoria conductor June Ambush who dedicated the performance to BCC. Additionally, the Boston City Singers Concert Chorus sang Rollo Dillworth's I Dream a World, comissioned by the BCC in 2005, which touched the hearts of longtime BCC members in the audience. At the end of the concert, all ten groups performed a spirited rendition of Jim Papoulis' When I Close My Eyes, which was a great finale.

Training Choir Concert at Roxbury Community College!

March 21st was a big day for the BCC. Not only did all four training choir's give a great concert at Roxbury Community College, but BCC also offered a day of professional development, allowing chorus teachers from across the state to learn about the BCC process. During the day, guest artist Mary Ellen Junda gave assistant artistic director Michelle Adams tips on how to improve her conducting and teaching, and directed the choirs enhancing the performance. The final performance went wonderfully; the singer performed with gusto and the music educators got to see BCC's process of music making in action.

Monday, March 30, 2009

PC performance at Harvard Leadership Fellow Event!

On March 12th, Premier Choir had the joy of performing in the Harvard Class of 1959 chapel. The space was quite unique; not an ordinary chapel by any stretch of the imagination. It's cylindrical shape allowed for incredible acoustics and the greyscale interior decorating contrasted nicely with our fabulous red uniforms. The event was apart of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative. The topic of the weekend was basic education and what role higher education can play in improving basic education and providing everyone with equal opportunities. In some schools the budget for music education and performing arts programs is being cut because of financial issues. I believe that music education is a fundamental part of education and should be included in the basic education that everyone recieves because it can help foster analytical thinking, creativity, communication, leadership and teamwork skills, so it was interesting to see how that related to the purpose of Harvard's think tank. Preceding our performance, Hubie Jones gave an introduction explaining the creation and mission of the Boston Children's Chorus and how it relates to education. We then sang a few pieces, notably Como Tu, Suscepit Israel, and Plant a Tree, all of which were well recieved by the audience. After the performance, some singers took the opportunity to attend a very interesting forum hosted by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School, titled "Crossing the Lines: Closing the Gaps in Education" with panelists Ron Ferguson, Charito Kruvant, Andreas Schleicher, Ruth Simmons, and Lea Ybarra.
- Casey Accardi

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Concert Choir performs with Emmanuel Music!

Another great performance for BCC! In our most recent concert, BCC's Concert Choir performed with Emmanuel music at Emmanuel Episcopal Church (http://www.emmanuel-boston.org/).

Concert Choir started out with One With The Darkness, a piece arranged especially for Emmanuel Music! After the stellar performance, the choir went backstage where we got some extra practice (and relaxing!) time.

After our downtime, we came back on stage to perform a Bach Cantata, Mit Fried und Freud, one of Bach's 400 cantatas!

Overall, it was another great success for BCC!

Guest Writer: Lydia Guterman, Concert Choir

Monday, March 2, 2009

BCC Benefit Concert!

Performance at Harvard Festival of Women's Choruses!

On Friday, February 27th, Premier Choir had the joy of performing along side the Elm City Girl's Choir, the Festival Singers of Newton South High School, and the Boston Conservatory Women's Chorus at the Harvard Festival of Women's Choruses. (Don't be alarmed by the title... our PC boys were allowed to come along as well!) The performance was most enjoyable because Lowell Hall at Harvard had wonderful acoustics, and it was a thrill to see other groups perform.

The most exciting thing about the evening for us however, was the repertoire that we performed. Each piece had an entirely different character which gave the audience an unique experience each time, and was fun and challenging (in a good way) for us to perform. We started with Stephen Hatfield's "Uberlebensgroß" which, although we've performed it many times, is always thrilling to sing. The song incorportates the use of bamboo poles and sticks and other small instruments to give a very tribal feel, while still sounding choral. Next we sang Michael Bojensen's "Plant a Tree", a beautiful piece in which we split into triple chorus and reenact the growth of a tree through body movements. Third we sang "Tea Invitation" from Hot Tea, Mint, and Olives which was especially fun to sing because the composer, Kareem Roustom, was in the audience. We then moved on to "Suscepit Israel" from Magnificat in D Major which was interesting to perform because Mr. Tk played his cello for the piece, leaving us to feel our way through the music as an ensemble in order to unify our cut-offs and enterances. Fifth was Bartok's "The Wooing of a Girl" which is a favorite because we all embrace the character of the piece and act out their feelings as we sing... the audience might find it to be a little ridiculous, but we have lots of fun. Next we sang "Come Sunday" which requires a total change in mood and feeling as it embodies the spirit of the importance of the church in the non-violent movement for civil rights. Finally, for our grand finale, we sang Alberto Grau's "Como Tu" which is an experience unto itself. It tells the story of a princess, starting off in three-part texture and ending in a sixteen-part expolosion which is both exhausting but fun and rewarding to sing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Premier Choir performance at the Boston Globe!

On Thursday February 26th, instead of having regular rehearsal at BCC central, Premier Choir headed to the Boston Globe headquarters in Dorchester to perform for their Black History Month Celebration titled "The Strength in Our Community". BCC has really appreciated being featured in the Globe in the past, so it was wonderful and rewarding to perform for one of their events.

We arrived at 5:30 and had a chance to get in almost a full rehearsal (which was much needed PC had performances on the two following days as well) and eat a lovely dinner provided by the Globe before performing. Great progress was made musically. Additionally, everyone got a snazzy name tag with their name on it, which we all got to take home as souveniers.

Finally, Premier got to perform. The globe performance space was really cool, it had a set of stairs that spiraled around and lead to the stage area, so we had a great time creeping down the stairs for the song "Uberlebensgroß." We then sang a set that was very much in the spirit of the event including, "Come Sunday", "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and "Up to the Mountain". It was fun to sing songs from MLK because we've been working on other songs since and thus haven't sung them in a while. Overall, the performance was delightful.