On January 12th and 13th, Upper School Chase kids Emily Segal ’21, Kennedy Morris ’21, Kathleen Green ’19, and Veronica Johnson ’18 were among the 200 singers featured in the Connecticut Music Educators’ Association Southern Regional Festival. These singers earned their spots by scoring highly in the regional auditions held in November. The festival, this year at Middletown High School, included two choirs, an orchestra, and a jazz band. The ensembles, led by esteemed guest conductors,completed nearly ten hours of intense rehearsals between Friday afternoon and Saturday’s concert. The students were exposed to new rehearsal techniques and musical ideas, as well as a wide variety of repertoire.
Kennedy and Kathleen were assigned to the Treble Choir. This group of young women, under the direction of Dr. Cory Ganschow (Coordinator of Music Education and Associate Director of Choirs at Western Connecticut State University), wowed the audience with their beautifully blended sound and expressive singing. Emily and Veronica were assigned to the Mixed Choir, under the direction of David Otis Castonguay (Professor Emeritus at Radford University). This is the largest group that the girls had ever sung in and they both commented on how exciting it was to be part of such a full sound!
The choral repertoire ranged from a Bach cantata to American spirituals, each piece challenging and stretching the musical range and sensibility of our students. “Do Not Ask Me to Remember” by Christopher Aspaas, sung but the Treble Choir, was particularly special to the singers. The song includes complex harmonies and dissonant cluster chords, exploring the mind of a person with Alzheimer’s Disease.The most challenging piece performed by the Mixed Choir was a stunning work entitled “Stars,” by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. This extraordinary piece is written for eight separate vocal parts and accompanied only by singers playing water-tuned glasses. This created a cosmic sound bringing the poem about the stars and heavens to life!
This weekend was such a wonderful musical experience for our Chase kids and I know they will treasure it for years to come!
Congratulations Emily, Kennedy, Kathleen, and Veronica!
- Mrs. Apland