The IC ACDA group attended one final concert before embarking on our long drive back to New York. We headed over to New England Conservatory to hear the Elementary Honor Choir, conducted by Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, and the Junior High Honor Choir, conducted by Andrea Ramsey. Hearing these beautiful young voices raised in song was a wonderful way for us to wrap up our time at the conference!
First up was the Elementary Honor Choir. After hearing this group rehearsing a few days prior, I was especially excited to hear their finished product! One thing that stood out about this concert was the frequent use of vocal percussion and other sound effects to enhance many of the pieces. As soon as the singers began their first piece, "Mi'kmaq Honour Song," the audience was transported by the sounds of birds, rustling leaves, and other noises that are found in nature. Later on in the concert, the birdcalls returned in greater numbers along with monkeys, snakes, and tigers for "Tres Cantos Nativos," a cycle of three songs featuring a delightful cacophony of jungle noises. During "La Lluvia," the students created an indoor thunderstorm with claps, stomps, snaps, clicks, and hisses. The same children who fearlessly imitated orangutans and coo-coo birds in some pieces sounded like angels during the group's performances of "Quiet Sea" and J.S. Bach's "Domine Deus." Towards the end of the concert, the group gave a shout-out to the locals with a lighthearted piece entitled "Goin' to Boston." The group's final piece was a world premiere. Composer Richard Clark commissioned "Dona Nobis Pacem" for the Elementary Honor Choir, and they sang it beautifully. These children gave a great concert, filled with passion and positive energy from start to finish!
The Junior High Honor Choir established a fierce presence by making their first piece, "Hanacpachap cussicuinin," a processional. They then transitioned into J.S. Bach's "Sanctus in D Minor," accompanied by a string quartet. The third piece on the program was one of the conductor's own compositions, "Sing to Me," and the children gave a heartfelt and moving performance. The group also performed an exciting piece called "Pescar Camaron" that featured multiple percussion instruments. Like the elementary choir, they commissioned a new piece as well, "Echo" by ACDA President-Elect Tom Shelton, and Dr. Ramsey invited him up onto the stage to accompany the performance! The choir ended with a spirited rendition of "Give Me Just a Little More Time," which left the audience humming the catchy tune. We were so glad that we were able to attend this wonderful concert!
-Juliana Joy Child, IC ACDA Treasurer
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