This year has been my second time singing in Transient Glory. I can tell you from experience, a lot of work goes into making this concert the best that it can be. I have been singing with YPC now for about eight years, but nothing can truly compare to the dynamic of this concert, and the thrill you get of unveiling brand new, world premieres of newly commissioned music. It’s incredible when you think about it. I am sixteen years old, and there are children in this chorus who are not yet in high school, yet we have been given the opportunity to work with some of today’s most respected, renowned, and talented composers.
YPC has given me an infinite supply of memories over the years that I will never forget and that have truly shaped me to be the person that I am today. That being said, Transient Glory is without a doubt one of the most meaningful and treasured YPC moments that I have been given. Sure, it’s a lot of of work. The amount of rehearsal time that this concert requires is so incredibly intense that YPC very shortly becomes a second home for us all. Sometimes I wonder how I could choose to give myself so much extra work. Yet watching everybody stay focused and work hard during rehearsals reminds me that we’re all in this together, working side by side to achieve something truly groundbreaking.
The music we are singing this year has been challenging, but worthwhile. Meredith Monk’s piece “Three Heavens and Hells” was, I believe, a new experience for every chorister. She taught us how to use the voice as an instrument in itself. Though the text for the song itself may appear simple at first, the song has many layers and vocal techniques that give the song an entirely new energy. Meredith Monk taught us to let loose and not be afraid to use our voice to create unique and distinctive sounds.
Ned Rorem’s piece “Afternoon On A Hill” was particularly beautiful. The different poems used for the text combined with the soaring melodies he created fit perfectly.
Steve Reich’s piece “You Are Variations” was particularly challenging. We worked extremely hard to master the different rhythms used in the piece. However, this was one of my favorite pieces. The voice parts blend together to produce an amazing sound. I think we all became very focused and wrapped up in this song while singing it in rehearsals.
Bruce Adolphe’s piece “Singing This Piece” was extremely fun to sing. The text, which is literally about singing a choral piece, was made up of comments that I have actually heard choristers make. It was very true to what it is like to sing a choral piece. The first time we sang it through, we could not stop laughing because all of the lyrics accurately describe a chorus.
Michael Gordon’s piece “Every Stop On The F Train” was also a challenging song. It required complete concentration to sing, and taught me a lot about different rhythms. I now know that I can never get lost while taking the F train, because I know every stop!
Tarik O’ Regan’s piece “The Taxi” is incredibly beautiful. The text, which talks about lost love and longing in the city, truly made me think. Set to Tarik’ O’ Regan’s energetic and vibrant music, this piece truly embodied the fast-paced city life. Every piece we have sung this year taught me something I didn’t know before. They challenged us as a chorus, and made us work our hardest. These rehearsals have made me realize what an incredible outcome you can create if you work hard, and I cannot wait to see the outcome of all of our persistence and determination at this year’s Transient Glory concert.
Written by Jessica Cannizzaro, Concert Chorus division of YPC