In this season of Thanksgiving I’m particularly interested in hearing some of your stories of gratitude related to choral music. I would imagine most of us have warm memories of our choral experiences over the years and I can’t think of anything more appropriate to share this week than some of those recollections. Your story might have to do with a former director, a choral friend, a particular piece of music, or something else. Whatever it is, share it in this space and remind us all that during this time of the year when we are reminded to be thankful, our musical experiences often evoke some of our warmest memories.
The Michael O’Neal Singers just began its Twentieth Season in what I think was exactly the right way. Instead of concentrating on what we have accomplished during these last two decades, we set our eyes on what is ahead. In a concert entitled Celebrate the Future we featured three outstanding high school musical ensembles: The Alpharetta High School Chorale, Thomas Yackley, Conductor; The Milton High School Chorale, J. Andrew Bowers, Conductor; and the Centennial High School Chamber Strings, Young Kim, Conductor. Each ensemble performed individually, as well as in a combined performance with MOS of Schubert’s Mass in G and a World Premier performance of Hear the Future!
What struck me most about these young people, in addition to their extraordinary musicianship, was their commitment and seriousness of purpose. In this complicated world in which we live it is encouraging to observe teenagers such as these and realize that they will be our leaders of tomorrow. I have always believed (of course I’ll admit I’m somewhat biased) that school musical ensembles attract some of our brightest and best students, but I also believe that involvement in such ensembles helps develop qualities of teamwork, goal setting, and leadership. It is gratifying to see folks (of any age) working together for a positive common purpose, and a musical ensemble is one of the best vehicles to achieve something together that could never be accomplished individually.
At our Celebrate the Future concert we had musicians ranging in age from teenagers to retirees and I imagine we all received something from our musical collaboration. I’m interested in hearing from you as to what you experienced in our performance together and also what it is you most enjoy about making music in an ensemble. Share your thoughts!
Filed under: Choral experiences, choral masterworks, Collaboration | Tagged: choral directors, Collaboration, high school arts, Ken Berg, Michael O'Neal, MOS, orchestra directors, schubert Mass in G, singing, The Michael O'Neal Singers | 3 Comments »