The afternoon Blue Track concert session on Friday, March 10th featured four diverse ensembles. The first, the Crystal Children's Choir from the San Francisco Bay Area showed off their versatility by presenting works that represented many different styles and time periods, written by composers ranging from Arcadelt to Kodály. I especially enjoyed Cao Guangping's "Spirit (Lake)", which featured Tibetan chant paired with mesmerizing choreography. The group immediately followed this piece with a riveting performance of Xiao Geng's "Presage (Water Beetle)", an upbeat Zhuang folk song that was enhanced by movements performed in perfect unison. This group performed in six different languages on the concert, each with precision and authenticity. It is always a delight to see such dedication, passion, and artistry from young singers!
The second group to perform, the Arvada West High School Vocal Showcase, began with a world premiere of an exciting piece called "Arctica," by Z. Randall Stroope. Their set went on to include contemporary, Renaissance, and Classical pieces. The final piece on their program, "Karimatanu Kuicha" by Ko Matsushita, contains challenging rhythms and harmonies, and the ensemble met those challenges.
The Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers opened with two madrigals and then moved immediately to an ethereal piece by Jussi Chydenius. Without pausing after the Chydenius, the singers transitioned into a lovely piece for chorus and violin solo, as their conductor stepped off of the stage and the violinist appeared. The singers conducted themselves with choreographed movements. The group's finale piece, "We Can Mend the Sky" by Jake Runestad, was moving and inspiring, and it encouraged the audience to fight for social justice.
Before the final group performed, a special performance in honor of the late Weston Noble took place. A choir of his students performed a piece that had been special to him, and everyone in attendance was visibly moved.
Finally, Cantamus Women's Choir performed. All of the pieces in their set were linked by the common theme of religion/spirituality, but each piece was in a different language and presented a diverse religious tradition. After beginning with Levente Gyongyosi's lively "Laudate Dominum" and John Meuhleisen's serene "Da Pacem," the group performed the world premiere of "Angel Za Bolne (The Angel for the Sick)" by Ambroz Copi. This piece was followed by a beautiful performance of "Heaven Full of Stars" by Eric Barnum, which was then followed by yet another world premiere: "Yukamari Uta (Song of Spa)" arranged by Ko Matsushita. Cantamus finished off a great concert with a spirited performance of Gibbs's well-known "Elijah Rock!"
I had a great time at this concert. Congrats to all ensembles who performed!
-Juliana Joy Child, IC ACDA President-Elect
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