Concert: University of Southern California, Brigham Young University, and The Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo in Abravanel Hall
IC ACDA attended its first concert session on Wednesday at 1:15 in the beautiful Abranavel Hall. The Thornton Chamber Singers from USC, conducted by the incomparable Jo-Michael Scheibe, opened the concert with an extremely versatile and exquisitely beautiful set of pieces. They began with Richard Nance's complex and heart wrenching "Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God" and then transitioned flawlessly into Daniel Elder's gentle plea for human connectedness, "The Heart's Reflection." I was moved to tears by the group's performance of Petr Eben's "De Circuitu Aeterno." Just when I thought their performance couldn't possibly get any better, they performed "Trois Chansons Bretonnes" by Henk Badings with incredible passion. And they closed with an amazing performance of Jake Runestad's "Alleluia," showcasing their precision and power as an ensemble. The entire audience was captivated by every moment of their performance, and as a student, I was inspired by their energy and dedication!
The next group to perform was the Brigham Young University Women's Chorus, conducted by Jean Applonie. Being a member of the Women's Chorale at my school, I was excited to see another treble group performing! Ms. Applonie selected repertoire that showcased the group's togetherness, passion, and theatricality. This group had an unbelievable amount of energy, and their set had a beautiful flow to it. I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience during their third piece, "Reflections from Yad Vashem" by Daniel Hall, which mourns for the souls of deceased children. It was an unforgettable performance.
Finally, the Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo performed under the direction of Ko Matsushita. I personally had never seen a professional choir from a foreign country, so it was fascinating for me to hear the way the Japanese dialect influenced the overall sound of the group. They sounded exceptionally intense compared to most American choirs, and I thoroughly enjoyed their performance! All of the pieces they performed were composed by the conductor himself...how amazing is that?! The crowd favorite seemed to be "fireflies, fireflies, fireflies," a lively, thick-textured piece with delightfully dissonant chords and dynamics so powerful they caused the floor to shake. The audience gave a standing ovation even though there were still two pieces left! The choir closed the concert with a comical piece called "Mihara Yassa-Bushi" that left us all in a wonderful mood.
The entire concert was enthralling from start to finish. We couldn't have asked for a better way to start the ACDA 2015 Conference!
-Juliana Child, Ithaca College '18
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