Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Life in the I.C.

Guest Writer: William Cabaniss

Every year on our week long trip to Ithaca, NY we experience something different. Last year, we were delayed quite a bit after a tree fell on the road because of flooding. We were stuck on the bus for almost three hours in the same place with only a few Oreos and the movie "Aquamarine"!

This year's trip was fun, relaxing, and thankfully the bus rides were short. After leaving the 92nd Street Y, we made good time and got there before sunset. We either went with our home-stays from the Ithaca Children's Choir, or to 'The House.' Through the next week were rehearsals, master classes, a couple of breaks, more rehearsals, and lots of swimming.

At the end of the week, we gave two concerts. The first one was with the YPC and ICC performing separately. We did an amazing job, and I think we did the best performances of "Walk in Jerusalem," and "When I Sing", ever. The next night was the tutti performance. It featured all of the CME participants conducting various pieces we rehearsed during the week, with Elizabeth conducting "We Will", and Francisco - the guest conductor for the week - directing us through "Desde Lo Hondo" and "Si Tu Suenas".

After that concert, we boarded the bus and headed off to Hershey Park! When we got there we had our 'end of tour memories circle' as Elizabeth likes to call it. After, I had mixed feelings about moving up to Concert Chorus, because the Intermezzo Chorus is such a great group, and has developed so much since I got there. The next day we had so much fun at Hershey Park! Overall, the trip was a blast and was unforgettable.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Graduation: An Underclassman’s Perspective

On July 5th, the Concert Chorus and Young Men’s division began their summer trip together with a concert at St Vincent’s Church for music teachers and educators. We sang a selection of our Transient Glory music and other songs that we had learned for the occasion. The Young Men joined the Concert Chorus for our traditional choreographed spirituals and also for "Cantique" by Jean Racine. The concert was for the American Guild of Organists and we were able to perform several songs with organ, some written by our own conductor, Francisco.

As usual, we left an hour late the next morning for our trip to the Catskills (held up by none other than our own conductor, Francisco). We stopped at Bear Creek Landing, where we were temporarily delayed by uncooperative weather, before we played paintball and minigolf. Bruised, wet, and tired, we arrived at the hotel. There, we had dinner, swam, and dressed up in our PJ’s for the traditional Senior Skit and Senior Circle.

The Senior Skit is a created by all of the Freshmen (that is, everyone who is not a graduating Senior). Usually modeled after a chorus rehearsal, the skit lovingly embraces the seniors by mocking and dramatizing their idiosyncrasies. It is created as a way to remind us all of why we love the seniors and will miss their unique personalities and characteristics. The freshmen try to act as much like the seniors as possible. They even sneak into their hotel rooms and take their clothing to wear in the skit. In addition to creating the skit, the freshmen write a song to commemorate the seniors. It is usually a take-off of a well-known tune or a one sung in chorus.

After the entertaining atmosphere of the skit, the entire chorus sits in a circle and we turn off all the lights in the room. Francisco shares with us the story of how the chorus began and why it is so incredibly important to continue what we do. We next hold graduation for the seniors, in which we welcome each senior, one by one, into the middle. Other choristers had an opportunity to speak to the person in the center before each senior gave parting words of advice to the chorus as they tried to explain what YPC had meant to them.

- Written by the YPC "Freshmen"

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dear YPC...

This was my first summer tour with the Concert Chorus and I'm thrilled to say it will not be my last. I came into the chorus judging people from things I have heard. The entire year I treated people according to rumors. I realized that was the most ridiculous thing anyone could ever think.

Tonight I recognized how each and everyone of the seniors and choristers are exceptional in their own way. All this time I excluded them from what I considered my circle and I am now ashamed of it. Tonight I recognized everyone's true colors were revealed, or at least this was the first time I accepted it.

I advise all choristers to interact with people they usually would not. My advice is to not wait for the last minute, like I did, to meet new people because they can be gone the next day. I love the YPC Seniors '07 and wish them the best in life. Now I can officially say I knew you guys. You are all amazing. You will be missed. I love you.

Nikaury Roman, Ooncert Chorus (Soprano 2)