CHORUS CONCERT RECAP

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CHORUS CONCERT RECAP

Vocal senior Grace Barrett sings alongside her fellow choir members as they open with “Alleluia” by Paul Basler. Before the show started, vocal dean Ken Taylor addressed the audience, saying, “Enjoy this next little while as we conclude our year and celebrate with everyone—but especially with our seniors—with some really fine music tonight.”

Vocal senior Grace Barrett sings alongside her fellow choir members as they open with “Alleluia” by Paul Basler. Before the show started, vocal dean Ken Taylor addressed the audience, saying, “Enjoy this next little while as we conclude our year and celebrate with everyone—but especially with our seniors—with some really fine music tonight.”

Rachel Jeune

Vocal senior Grace Barrett sings alongside her fellow choir members as they open with “Alleluia” by Paul Basler. Before the show started, vocal dean Ken Taylor addressed the audience, saying, “Enjoy this next little while as we conclude our year and celebrate with everyone—but especially with our seniors—with some really fine music tonight.”

Rachel Jeune

Rachel Jeune

Vocal senior Grace Barrett sings alongside her fellow choir members as they open with “Alleluia” by Paul Basler. Before the show started, vocal dean Ken Taylor addressed the audience, saying, “Enjoy this next little while as we conclude our year and celebrate with everyone—but especially with our seniors—with some really fine music tonight.”

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Audience members scanned concert directories as vocal students prepared to walk on stage, wearing black gowns and tuxedos. Among the sea of proud parents and supportive friends were bouquets of flowers and illuminated iPhones set to record.

The performance opened on May 10 at 7 p.m. in Meyer Hall. Although the seniors’ check-out day had been this past Thursday, vocal majors came back to put on one last show before saying their final goodbyes.

“I’ve been singing with some of [the seniors] for as long as six years, and they’ve become my extended family,” vocal junior Isabella Caggiani said. “I would definitely consider the last concert to be bittersweet, as it was tough to think of their absence in the coming year yet comforting to know that they’re moving onto a new and exciting chapter in their lives.”

The vocal department’s choir director, Ken Taylor, conducted the concert as pianist Betsy McHugh accompanied the singers. In the concert’s opening speech, Mr. Taylor addressed the graduating seniors and declared the performance a celebration for them.

“I’m going to miss how friendly the seniors were,” vocal sophomore Amanda Ferber said. “[T]hey were always open to giving advice or help, whether it was a personal issue or something musical.”

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Preparing for the Spring Concert took months, and many students had been practicing since the Major Works concert in March, others as early as January.  

“We would just basically practice our songs every class, and Mr. Taylor would try to fix as many errors in the songs as possible,” Ferber said. “Once we had the songs memorized, we would try to make the songs as musical and expressive as possible.”

Throughout the concert, students performed songs ranging from “Les Chant des Oyseaux” by Clement Janequin to “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. Toward the end, professional organist Arnfield Cudal was invited on stage to play a piece titled “Behold, How Good and How Lovely” on the grand piano as the choir sang along with vocal senior Laura Santamaria, the soloist.

“I asked [Mr. Cudal] if he would graciously come and accompany us. This piece is designed to be played on an organ,” Mr. Taylor said. “We obviously couldn’t get an organ in here, so I asked him if he would succumb to play our grand piano and translate it into a piano piece with the choir.”

The choir went on to sing “Janger” by Budi Susanto Yohanes. The vocal boys sat in a semicircle at the front of the stage with their hands on their knees as they swayed side to side. The girls stood in the back waving bright red hand fans to the music’s melody.

Rachel Jeune
Juniors and underclassmen reminisce as they sing with their senior classmates for the last time. “I’m definitely going to miss each senior’s individual character, as they have each etched a unique quality into every rehearsal and performance throughout their four years at Dreyfoos,” vocal junior Isabella Caggiani said. “Their ability to exceed in both music and academics has been such a motivating power and their fun-loving spirit has fueled many laughs and adventures.”

“This folk song is traditionally sung by the youth while dancing during the evening parties,” Mr. Taylor said. “The singers tonight frequently [imitated] the sounds and instruments with their voices while demonstrating some of the traditional dance moves.”

The concert concluded with “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by Peter Lutkin. Students held hands and lined the walls of Meyer Hall with the seniors grouped together in the center of the stage.

“I felt so sad when we were singing our concluding pieces because I knew it was the last time I’d ever be able to sing as a choir with all of the seniors I had grown to know and love over the course of this year,” Ferber said. “Although I am happy to see the seniors going to college to pursue their passions, I will really miss singing and talking with them every day in chorus.”

Many of the seniors were heavily impacted by their participation in the vocal department and seek to leave a legacy behind. Many of them had been singing with their vocal family for years before high school.

“I have made some of my best friends for life in this vocal department and … I will miss making grade-A music with such talented people!” ”

— vocal senior Lilly Heran

“I am hoping to be remembered as a good leader within the choir and someone who brought the members of the choir together as a family,” vocal department Vice President and vocal senior Lilly Heran said. “It’s so surreal. Some of these people I have been singing with for almost 8 years, so although it is very sad, I know that we will always be family.”

With the seniors leaving, vocal juniors are left to take their place as next year’s newest seniors and leaders of the vocal family. The seniors had established traditions and a community among the vocal students.

“This senior class has definitely left some large shoes to fill for my class through the way they uplift one another and move through challenges as a group,” said Caggiani, who is the upcoming president of the vocal department. “They served as the leaders of this department in more ways than just performing—they were the core members of the ‘vocal family,’ and the traditions they created left the department with a greater sense of connection to each other as well as to the music itself.”

At the end of the performance, the seniors were called one by one on stage to collect a bouquet of flowers. Seniors then embraced one another and shed a few tears as they said their final goodbyes.

“I’m really going to miss the senior class. [Y]ou always feel like this is gonna be the group that you’re gonna miss the most and every year it seems to get worse,” Mr. Taylor said in his closing speech. “These guys mean a lot to me and they’ve done a lot; they’ve grown a lot in the three years I’ve been here and I feel very blessed to have taught each of them, and I’m excited for what the future holds for so many of them.”

Watch out for a The Muse exclusive video, “Deconstructing a Harmony,” with Dreyfoos vocal majors!

 

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Sasha Smith, Culture Editor

Communications sophomore Sasha Smith is a first-year staffer on the Arts Section of The Muse. She is extremely (!!!) excited to be working on the publication...

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