I wrote earlier about how 900 voices were going to sing my choral music in a concert last week. Well, they did. And I was there. It was an astounding event. The choir was too big for the stage, so they sat in the audience seats at Disney Hall and the actual audience was relegated to those nose-bleed seats above them and the section behind the stage where you usually get a nice view of the conductor’s face but the entire orchestra is facing the other direction. That’s where I sat. Front and center. Facing the choir. It was glorious. Imagine being at a ball game where everyone is singing the Star Spangled Banner, but they’re beautifully musical, refined, harmonized, and nuanced. Hee Hee Hee. Or if you can’t imagine it, take a look at the LA Times photos here. (In photos 2 and 3 of 6, I’m pretty sure that’s my music they’re holding.)
Here’s some video footage of the event. If you listen to the last five or six seconds of sound on the clip, while Jessica Hernandez is talking, you’ll hear the words “the promise of light” ending on an open fifth. Maybe it’s not the most fabulous music in the whole piece, but there ya go. That’s mine.
I’ve learned that in the classical world, credit often only goes to the composer and not the lyricist, but I was still surprised to discover that Len Schiff’s name wasn’t in the program. The conductor did mention the “gorgeous poetry” from the stage, but I offer my public apologies to Len for something that was completely out of my control. You should all know how gifted a wordsmith he is, and you should all buy copies of the music so he can cry all the way to the bank.
High School Students sing at Disney Hall
by Francisco Vara-Orta, The Homeroom (blog), The Los Angeles Times
Wonder what the future of this country sounds like? Harmonious. At least if you judge by the 1,000 voices of high school students gathered in Disney Hall downtown today for a choral festival. Row after row of black-tie tuxedos and vibrant dresses and gowns filled the seats in the modernist hall. The teenagers have practiced for months to master songs centuries old from countries throughout the world. Vivaldi, Astor Piazaolla, Georgia Stitt, and Gabriel Fauré were the musical favorites of the crowd, sung without instruments or occasionally a piano.
Hundreds join in song at High School Choir Festival
by Francisco Vara-Orta, The Los Angeles Times
Friday’s festival, which was free to the public, marked the end of a yearlong process of applications, auditions and practices for those hoping to make the cut. The songs of Antonio Vivaldi, Argentina’s Astor Piazzolla, L.A.-based composer Georgia Stitt and France’s Gabriel Fauré took months to master. Most of the set centered on religious-themed works about faith, Scripture, devotion and gratitude — with some pieces dating back centuries.