Under the direction of Chad Runyon, former Chanticleer singer, now our Education Director, 42 singers aged 14-20 are with us for this week in the intensive program we call Skills/LAB. Skills was started 7 years ago as an adjunct to our LAB (Louis A. Botto) Choir program to enable students to improve their choral skills, starting at whatever level they have. This year features some innovations designed to aid musical learning with movement and improvisation. A number of Skills/LAB participants who are are speakers of other languages have instructed in them. We had a session yesterday in which we sang for each other and answered question. The final concert/demonstration takes place tomorrow. LAB XVII starts in September.
Kirk in the Hills: stunning example of Scottish Gothic (!) architecture transferred to rolling hills outside Detroit. Packed, very appreciative, audience for My Secret Heart. Heading for NY and DC (by way of Selinsgrove, Pa) where the big event will be the premiere of Mason Bates' new piece for us. "Drum-taps"- text by Walt Whitman.
We gave our concert - My Secret Heart- on Friday night, then Saturday was the youth choral festival part of Van/Man. About it, Fred wrote:
This has been a fascinating and exciting day. There must be about 300 men's voices, all the way from Boys Choir of British Columbia to Vancouver Men's Choir (90 or so, premiere of a new piece based on texts of Dalai Lama by Eric Banks and 50 heroic voices from the Icelandic Men's Choir . Mostly the day is about kids. Many groups of high-schoolers singing happily, in tune, all sorts of music. The ten "honors" boys who were very excited to sing with us -- PROMYS, they're called -- were very well prepared. On the concert we sang four pieces ( two by Tomkins, Washing of the Water, and Bridge over Troubled Waters) surrounded by Sally Gardens and Hogan's Good News. The first piece was an Icelandic prayer and the whole room was literally in song -- choristers in front, behind and over the stage, in boxed and balconies. Terrific. A very electric day.
We were invited by Erick Lichte, Director of Choe Leoni in Vancouver to be guests at their choral summit working and performing with three
Chor Leoni groups, the British Columbia Boy Choir, the Vancouver Men's Choir and the Kailakorinn from Iceland.
Ladt night we sang My Secret Heart for everybody which they seemed to like a whole lot. On the festival concert tonight we will combine for Biebl with Chor Leoni. Fun!
Not yet over. It began with the innocent assumption that we could get from our very enjoyable concerts in Connecticut (home of Marques) to Cincinnati in one day for Friday's concert at St Peter in Chains. Storms in the southeast took all possible flights out of commission. We hired a bus. We arrived at the mid-point in Pennsylvania at 3.30am, left at 8.30am and will be singing our concert at 7:30pm.