Girls choir visits St. Mary’s

Posted on November 30, 2009 by

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Tori Fater- Staff writer

On November 20, while most students at Concord High School went about their daily business of taking notes, lugging heavy textbooks between classes, and finishing homework minutes before they turned it in, the relatively carefree members of Concord’s Advanced Girls Choir were attending the St. Mary’s Choir Festival. Over twenty other schools from Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan attended – there was even a school from Ohio.

The choir spent the entire school day at the festival. They departed the high school at eight in the morning and returned at about four in the afternoon. After performing, they watched the performances of other schools, including a special presentation by St. Mary’s College Women’s Choir.

This year marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the festival. “It’s been a long time” since Concord attended, said Natalie Rudlaff (10). “This was the first time in a few years.”

The festival ran from Thursday to Friday, but Concord only attended and performed on Friday.

Although the attending choirs perform in front of judges, it is not a competition, but a friendly way for choirs to improve. “We sing and get rated so we can do better next time,” said Rudlaff.

Each choir prepares three songs for the festival and performs before a panel of three judges. Concord performed the pieces ‘Family Tree’, ‘Take Me to the Water’, and ‘Child with a Starry Crayon’.

The judges grade each choir according to tone quality, balance and blend, diction, interpretation and musical effect, intonation, and rhythm. Each judge has a comment sheet on which they can write tips for improvement or encouraging words in each category.

“There was one song that all the choirs sang together – ‘How the Flowers Came’,” said Sarah Thompson (10). “It was written by Eleanor Daley.” Daley composed the piece especially for the festival and the choirs at the festival were the first group to ever perform the piece.

Immediately after their performance, the girls had a clinic hosted by Daley in which the composer gave them notes on their performances. They were also treated to a tour of St. Mary’s campus.

The Advanced Girls Choir has only been at Concord for two years, but Brittany Gableman, the choir director, said that they did “extremely well” at the festival. “All three judges were very positive about the choir’s sound and performance and the ladies received excellent reviews.”

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