On June 3, we celebrated a beautiful gathering of singing and poetry readings.
The end of the school year was a flurry of busy activities, exams, awards ceremonies, sports matches, and other events. In the midst of this activity, the spring choral concert was an hour of calm and peace. On June 3, we celebrated a beautiful gathering of singing and poetry readings which centered on the ideas of nature, human expression, relationships, and inner peace.
Music throughout the evening was based on the poetry of Robert Frost, Sarah Teasdale, William Blake, Edgar Allen Poe, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar. There was also a poem in Latin, which was originally part of the choral piece “Carmina Burana.”
The three combined middle school choir classes came together to form a choir of 45 singers. Even without much rehearsal time together, this ensemble performed as if they had sung together always. Each piece of music was based on a poem. The musical theater students hosted the concert, giving informational introductions to the songs in English and Chinese, and performing the poems as spoken word. The audience seemed to be completely drawn in by the poetry and the music.
A highlight of the middle school concert was when last semester’s middle school choir students were invited to join the choir onstage to revive “Whisper,” the favorite piece from the fall semester. The middle school concert concluded with a beautiful solo by 7th grader Lucie Liu on the American Folk Song “Homeward Bound.”
Click here to watch the whole middle school concert.
The high school concert followed the same format, with musical theater students introducing the songs and performing the poems in both English and Chinese. The two large high school choir classes also combined to form a choir more than 70 singers strong! The sound of the choir was powerful!
The high school girls’ piece was particularly touching. Titled “Letter from a girl to the world,” it is a four-part harmony a cappella piece. The high school ladies really sang passionately about their hopes and dreams for the future, and the struggles of trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world.
Click here to watch the whole high school concert.
At the high school concert, Mrs. Gifford wanted to do something special to honor the 22 graduating seniors from the choirs and musical theater classes. Before the final song, each graduate from the performing groups was called forward and presented with a long-stem red rose.
Then, these 22 seniors were featured on the final piece “I Will Miss You.” The seniors sang the verses, and the choir joined in on the chorus. Senior Tiger Ma helped out on the djembe drum, 9th grader Mandi Li and 11th grader Amy Jiang were on guitars, and at the piano was 10th grader Sharon Sun:
The moment was very touching, and many of us were in tears as we watched our beloved grads singing together arm-in-arm. We now have a new tradition to uphold in future spring choral concerts.
Click here to see more pictures.