Monday, February 23, 2009

Kenosha Choral Festival

Well, the Choral Festival was really something! One thousand kids from four high schools, seven middle schools and the all-city elementary school choir (2 girls and 2 boys from each elementary school) were gathered on these bleachers...

while three thousand parents, family members and friends enjoyed the concert! (I think this picture was taken during the national anthem, because the audience is standing, but we were seated on folding chairs, and there were three more sets of bleachers for seating as well.) It's been a 43-year tradition in Kenosha, and none of the parents I was sitting with had grown up in school districts that did anything like this.

The Combined Festival Choir sang three songs together, and the combined high schools and middle schools each performed a number. Each middle school and high school choir (as well as the one elementary choir) also took their turn on a stage with a bandshell to perform one number alone. Many of them featured one or two soloists. We thought Blondechick did a beautiful job on her solo in "Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace."

She curled her hair just for the occasion! And the frugal fiend in me can't help but mention that I've had that belt since I graduated from college. (Waste not, want not!)

And here's what a dad with a telephoto lens can do:

This was before things got started, as the choirs were slowly taking their places on the bleachers. Blondechick is in the red belt, there, with the other altos from her school. (She's a second soprano, but the altos needed more help.)

She loved all the extra practices with the combined choirs, as well as the fabulous guest conductor Richard Bjella, who was such a professional and so encouraging! He spoke to the whole audience, before the final song, about music, singing and urged the students: "Sing for your life!" (quoting Bobby McFerrin's advice to the college students at Bjella's conservatory of music)

She had such a good time at the Choral Fest, she's says she's definitely taking choir again next year!


Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

I'm glad she enjoyed herself. Meanwhile, I think my mom wore that outfit (necklace and everything) in about 1985. :) Fashion leaves me forever befuddled.

Amy said...

What an amazing event! Congrats to Blondechick16 on a job well done!

stephseef said...

Richard Bjella is wonderful.. and his brother is vln prof at UWSP - where i studied voice. great to have such excellent educators in WI!