Fall Classic Combines District Choirs

Annette Ungermann, Opinion Writer

In 2 district-wide performances, co-ed and women’s choirs began the choral season with the 15th annual Fall Choral Classic. Preparation time for the performance was shorter than that for the year’s other concerts, giving performers a short 7 weeks to learn and perfect multiple songs.

Choir, impacted by this year’s new block schedule, now meets only 3 times a week as opposed to last year’s 5 times, increasing the degree of stress for performers during the Fall presentation time crunch.

“Because most of the choirs are made up of upperclassmen, it’s much easier for them to know how long we  have, and be able to jump into rehearsal so that we have enough time to work on perfecting it,” said junior and Chamber Choir member Sydney Bagley.

Campolindo’s Concert and Chamber choirs performed on October 9 at Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church. Women’s Ensemble and Bel Canto performed at Our Savior Lutheran Church on October 12.

The performances are an annual collaboration with choirs from Acalanes and Miramonte.

“I feel like everyone works their hardest to blend together. It’s hard bringing people from such different programs, every choir director is different, so everyone’s taught differently, everyone is bringing in their own interpretation of the song,” said Bagley.

Campolindo vocalists were 1st introduced to the performance pieces at the weekend-long choral retreats earlier this fall. They rehearsed these pieces alongside their individual repertoires in an all-day-long rehearsal preceding their evening performances.

Co-ed choirs performed a Latin piece “Domine labia mea aperies,” and jubilant hymnal “Joyful, Joyful,” while women’s choirs performed the Irish love song “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?” and gospel-styled “The Storm is Passing Over.”

“Considering there were 100 plus people who were all trying to sing one song, I think [the mass pieces] went pretty well, as we had basically just one day of prep,” said junior Kathrine Kaidantzis, a member of both Bel Canto and Concert Choir.

Guest clinicians Dr. Julie Ford and Dr. Jing Ling Tam offered suggestions and advice through repeated vocal exercises and hours of practice. Both brought unique interpretations to the mass pieces.

“It’s cool to see how they interpret it differently from your choir director. [Ford’s] different take on one of the songs was very much more jazz-y and pop-y because she is more trained in jazz and other less classical music. So she brought that into her interpretation of that song. We had some beat-boxers, and some soloists, so that kind of brought a new light to the song, whether or not you liked that style,” said Bagley.

In comparison, Tam had performers form a large circle encompassing the audience in the church, an interpretation that changed how the listeners experienced the choir’s sound.

Students were also able to draw on the comments that guest clinicians made to other ensembles while their own choirs weren’t performing.