". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Singing Weekend

Sunday was the culmination of a semester's worth of work with the children's choir organization we are involved in. It is a truly excellent musical enterprise that nevertheless is more concerned with teaching children to sing and to love music than it is with creating a perfect sound (though I must say they achieve the latter frequently enough). Young Naperville Singers currently comprises eight children's choirs; I accompany Evan's beginning level group as well as an intermediate girls' choir, and Caitlin sings with the top group. This made for a busy week of rehearsals and a full day of performances (it is necessary to have three concerts to accommodate all the choirs). Here, for those who are interested, are videos of Evan's choir from Sunday. I am playing piano, although I don't think you can ever see me; Evan is in the third row right, second from the middle.

The theme of the concert was "Under the Same Sky" and included both American and world music. Evan's choir director decided to focus on songs about sleep since we all sleep under the same sky. The first song was sung partly in Finnish and included some props and sound effects intended to evoke the sea.

"Silent Fish (Salaisuuden Kala)" from Cheryl on Vimeo.

The next two songs utilized the same text by Robert Louis Stevenson in two very different musical settings. This gave the children a chance to learn about musical style (modern v. folk) and to consider how the music reflected the text. The first piece was especially fun to play.

"Bed in Summer" - I from Cheryl on Vimeo.

"Bed in Summer" - II from Cheryl on Vimeo.

Our fourth song was a beautiful lullaby in two-part harmony.

"Good Night" from Cheryl on Vimeo.

For our fifth piece the director combined two pieces evocative of Africa, and the children were joined by an older choir for the background harmony.

"Uhura" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from Cheryl on Vimeo.

It has been a great year for Evan, and he has matured so much socially and musically. Next year he will be joining the Boys' Choir, and I can't wait. Here is a short video I took of them rehearsing the day before the concerts:

I will try to put up videos of Caitlin's group in a few days.

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