On Friday of the conference, I attended the last rehearsal of the Collegiate Honor Choir and had an amazing experience. One of our pieces that we were performing was "Jai Ho" arranged by Ethan Sperry, and Ethan Sperry actually came to the rehearsal to listen to the piece. He gave us some feedback and requested that we have more fun with it. It was so incrediblel to have him conduct us singing "Jai Ho"; it was a very memorable experience. I could feel myself truly having fun with the piece and connecting with Ethan Sperry and exactly what he wanted from the piece. I also felt myself properly expressing and respecting the Indian culture.
Ethan Sperry told us that the first time he had a non-Indian choir sing "Jai Ho", the actual composer of the piece, A. R. Rahman, burst into tears. He said it was because Rahman saw that his music could transcend other cultures and be universal, and that is a composer's ultimate goal. A composer does not write a piece just so one group of people can perform it; composers write their pieces so any group of people can perform them. "Jai Ho" is a song that captures the Indian culture, and can teach other people about that culture. This culture can be expressed by others once they understand and accept it. The whole Collegiate Honor Choir experience centered around "Unity," and it was truly beautiful to have that message from the concert correlate with the experience we had with Ethan Sperry in rehearsing "Jai Ho."
-Andrea Stock, Hofstra University '18
"My name is Andrea Stock and I am a 3rd year Music Education Major at Hofstra University. I am the President of our Chapter, and I love choral music because of the impact it has on everyone emotionally and spiritually. I'm looking forward to the Unity Choir experience at the National Conference."
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