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Tuesday was the first big day. It was when the competitions began. Cantare was scheduled as the first chorus to perform in the whole competition. Right after breakfast at the hotel, two buses loaded with YPC choristers set off for the First Congregational Church in Berkeley where many of the Golden Gate participants were preparing for their own performances. The Cantare boys and girls were a little apprehensive, but by showtime at 2 p.m., Elizabeth turned their nervousness into a determination and focus that resulted in what Elizabeth told them (and they knew) was the performance of their lives.
A few hours later, Francisco led the Chorale in their first performance in the competition. The Chorale did their YPC thing, winning loud cheers, but they weren’t finished. YPC may have completed their competition pieces, but they still had more to show. So they followed up with an extraordinary performance of the West Side Story medley. At first there was a stunned silence. Then one by one just about every person in the audience stood to acknowledge what they had just experienced.
Afterwards, all of the YPC choristers enjoyed watching and cheering their new friends from so many other countries in their own performances, just as they had done for YPC.
There is much more to come–two big spotlight performances today and more competition performances later in the week. So what do the choristers think so far?
“Both during our set and while watching others in today’s competition, I learned that true success is not defined by how well the judges rate you. True success is feeling the spirit of the music, feeling the energy of those around you, and feeling the support of one’s peers. No matter how we placed, YPC won in our hearts. In that same way, so did every other choir that competed today. The medals are just a formality.” Daniel – Young Men
“Participating in today’s competition made the hours we spent rehearsing, studying our parts, and learning our dance moves feel completely worth it. From performing with YPC, I have learned what it feels like to really commit to singing together as one voice. Listening to the other choirs left me feeling inspired. It was so amazing to experience music and people from around the world, and I am so excited for the rest of the festival.” Keerti, Concert Chorus
“Watching the competition and participating, as well, has had a huge impact on my perspective of the world, different cultures, and the way that they express themselves through music. Music is a binding element for children and people from around the globe. We gather together to learn all different kinds of vocal techniques used in areas such as Indonesia, Estonia, and Finland to add to their style of music. Personally, I have grown as a musician by being exposed to such talent. I learned that working together is more of an achievement than succeeding individually, something I will remember for my upcoming years in YPC.” Julia, Cantare
Photos by Nancy Bloom