Christmas is upon us, concerts are hopefully completed, and the time has come to relax, spend time with family and friends and reflect on all that this season has to offer us. I had my weekly letter ready to send out this past Sunday evening, but somehow it was not saying what I wanted it to say and I was not feeling good about how it read. As usual I had Jean proofread it for me, and after some seriously critical observations on her part I decided to table it for a few days. And I am so glad that I did, because there is something that needs to be said that I have neglected.
VT ACDA just completed its’ first event of the year, our Mid-Winter Madrigal Festival on December 11th at North Avenue Alliance Church. It goes without saying that this event was a complete success in every way. The real effort and work behind the scenes is our High School R & S Chair Glory Reinstein, the Choral Director at Essex High School. Glory completely handles all the behind the scenes work that make this event run smoothly, starting with the initial sending out of letters in the fall to arranging the rehearsal and performance space, arranging the program, the printing of posters and programs, etc. We all owe Glory a huge thank you for her unending effort on behalf of this festival, the teachers, the students and VT ACDA, and in a larger sense the choral art.
Because of the timing of the festival, I was not able to be present for the entire day, nor was I able to be a part of the performance, although my group was. I sincerely missed being a part of this wonderful evening, yet in leaving to fulfill my responsibilities as President of NEMFA in Connecticut, I knew that Glory and the other choral directors had everything organized and ready to go. I could extol the virtues of this event forever, but I think I would rather simply submit the selections that were presented that evening and let you be the judge.
All Villagers of Chatres N.Anciens/arr. D. Patriquin
The Road Home arr. S. Paulus
Noe, Noe G. Aichinger
Waltz of the Flowers P. Tchaikovsky/arr.J. Funk
Sicut Cervus Palestrina
The Rose J.Paynter
Muie Rendera C.A. Pinto Fonseca
The Water Is Wide arr. D. Meader
Because P. McCartney/J. Lennon
There is No Rose Joubert
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Matona, My Beloved di Lasso/arr. Robinson
Somewhere Sondheim/Bernstein, arr. Edgerton
Lux Aurumque Eric Whitacre
Set Me As A Seal Rene Clausen
Adoramus Te J. Clement
Workin’ for the Dawn of Peace R. Jeffers
Carol of the Field Mice B. Holmes
Deck the Hall arr. David Willcocks
Oy Es Dia De Placer T. Pascual/arr. J. Noblett
Ka Hia Manu arr. S. Hatfield
MataDel Anima Sola A. Estevez
Nunc Dimittis G. Holst
Heilig F. Mendelssohn
I Have Had Singing R. Jeffers
Salmo 150 E. Aguiar
Special recognition should also go to Aimee Bushey, Choral Director at South Burlington High School, who directed the combined choirs (over 200 high school singers!) with consummate professionalism. Her direction engaged the students for the entire day of rehearsals and culminated in a fine performance of the last three selections on the list above.
Our Festival is one of the best examples of what it can mean to be a choral singer. The choral educators and students are all supportive of each other, and we all realize that each of our groups comes from schools with their own unique set of circumstances. Yet we are not there to judge each other, but to support all our efforts in the name of the choral art. Judging from the size of the audience and the comments I have heard from students and teachers alike, there is widespread support for our efforts, and each and every person involved in this event should take individual and collective pride in what we accomplish each year.
Congratulations to all; not just for the Madrigal Festival, but for all that we have done to elevate the choral art through our individual performances, our classroom work and our community outreaches this year. May this Christmas bring you all joy and the promises of the season………