Collaborative Choral Concert

As the last row of the Cochran Chapel’s pews filled up with the students participating in choir, Fidelio walked up on stage, the spotlight shining on them. The first chord of the piano rang out, the chapel fell silent and the annual choral concert began. This year’s concert was slightly different from previous years’. According to Andi Zhou ’09, it was the first time Fidelio was joining the chorus in its yearly event. With the orchestra playing as well, the choral concert was bigger than ever. “It’s our first concert, after work ing on these pieces for the entire term. We’re also not using our score, which is a challenge for us. I hope it turns out [well]” said Sky Yoo ’11, an Academy Chorus singer. The singers began preparations during the first week of winter term and met twice a week for intensive training and rehearsing. This concert is the chorus’ major performance of the year. For the Academy Chorus members, both the culmination of their term’s hard work and their approaching trip to Europe were items to be relished. Sydney Keen ’12, said, “[It’s my] first time going on a chorus trip, I’m so excited. I can’t wait.” For many people, it would be their first Europe trip as well. Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music, conducts Fidelio as well as the Academy Chorus and was busy conducting, playing piano and helping the young musicians tune themselves. After the concert, Walter said, “It went quite well. I was pleased with the Fidelio and the chorus. It really came together, and it blended excellently.” The chorus piece “Missa Sanceti Nicolai,” by Joseph Haydn, was the most popular performance of the night. “It definitely proved the music department’s coming together. Orchestra, Fidelio and Chorus were all [performing] together. I came to the concert last year, but it’s the first [performance where you can] notice how the voices and violin sounds really match when they play the melody together,” said Ziwe Fumudoh ’10. The only worry he had was that the pieces were quite high for a chorus piece, so the singers’ voices may have been tired. The singers thought otherwise. “It was great, I loved our performance. I’m so excited, the concert was awesome and now all I’m thinking about is our trip,” said Thea Raymond-Sidel ’12. Students’ (this makes no sense and I asked her to clarify) favorite aspect of the concert was the singers’ expert blending with the steady beat of the trumpet. Since it’s never been put together that way, it was new and most definitely a new essential to the choral concert. According to the singers, the concert was a testament to the importance of collaboration. Regardless of the tradition, it was important that new ideas were instigated to combine the orchestra, Fidelio and chorus for one spectacular performance.