Concert: High School Mixed Honor Choir, South Dakota Chorale, Roanoke Valley Children's Choir, Baylor University A Cappella Choir in the Salt Lake Tabernacle
This Saturday afternoon concert session began with the High School Mixed Honor Choir, under the direction of Dr. Andre Thomas. I had observed some of this group's rehearsals throughout the week, so I was excited to hear their finished product! The students performed with enthusiasm, and they sounded phenomenal. They performed a beautiful piece called "Kralj" as part of their program, and the composer was present in the audience. It wasn't until the end of the piece, when Dr. Thomas turned around to acknowledge the composer, that I realized he was sitting right next to me in the audience! After the concert, I got a chance to congratulate him on the performance and tell him how much I enjoyed his piece. You never know who you're going to cross paths with at the ACDA Conference!
The next group to perform was the South Dakota Chorale conducted by Brian Schmidt, a group that included choristers of many different ages and various musical backgrounds. They had a lovely, unified sound, and their set included very peaceful music. I particularly enjoyed their heartfelt performance of Sven-David Sandstrom's "Four Songs of Love." The group's tone made them sound like a choir of angels.
Next came the Roanoke Valley Children's Choir, conducted by Kimberly Davidson. Their set was so entertaining! They performed an African peace song entitled "Ukuthula" with a special guest soloist, and they brought the piece to life with hand motions and facial expressions. Throughout their whole performance, they displayed their versatility by singing in many different styles. Their last two pieces were show stoppers! "Chattanooga Choo Choo" featured full-out choreography, and for "Stars and Stripes" each section imitated the sounds of a different orchestral instrument. The crowd rose to their feet immediately after the performance, and the children were beaming with pride after a job well done.
The final ensemble to perform in this concert was the Baylor University A Cappella Choir. When I saw the term "a cappella choir," I was expecting contemporary, jazz, and/or barbershop music, but this group actually performed several choral pieces in the classical style, and they sounded incredible. They ended the concert with a lively performance of Jake Runestad's "Nyon, Nyon," during which they freestyle danced wildly. The entire audience was engaged and very entertained by their vibrant stage presence.
It was a treat to get to see four such diverse ensembles in one concert! Bravo to all!
-Juliana Child, Ithaca College '18
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