Thirty-six choristers from Cantare, Concert Chorus, and Young Men traveled upstate to Ithaca, NY to join the Ithaca Children’s Choir (ICC) as the resident chorus for Choral Music Experience (CME), led by Janet Galvan and featuring guest artist Kathy Armstrong.
We arrived in Ithaca on Sunday night. Sophia and Amy were heading up the trip, along with Cara Bernard and our chaperones Shannon Comp and Iris Harrison — and Steve the bus driver. The YPC choristers were off to their home-stay families — some staying in pairs, and one house taking as many as seven of our choristers!
Today was our first official day of CME. We started the day off at 9 a.m. with a joint rehearsal with the Ithaca Children’s Choir — the choristers enjoyed a slow, relaxed warm-up and rehearsed through several pieces with Ithaca College professor Dr. Jennifer Haywood before going to work on their African drumming and dance with guest Kathy Armstrong. This was definitely the high point of the day, as Kathy taught them some call-and-response patterns – using their voices, their bodies, and the drums. Janet then led the entire group in an open rehearsal for all of the graduate conducting participants to observe.
After lunch, the participants took their turns in a conducting master class. YPC and ICC choristers gave some fantastic feedback to the participants as they each conducted a piece; Janet worked with them on their gesture and style.
After our long day full of singing, drumming, movement, and campus dining hall food, we went swimming for an hour (indoors, because it was raining…it always seems to rain in Ithaca!)
before enjoying a pizza party and heading off to the host families for night #2.
We are working towards a workshop concert on Friday afternoon — some of our YPC parents are even going to drive up to see the culmination of all we’re working on this week! More to come tomorrow……signing off for now! – Sophia