Friday, October 16, 2009

Cantilon's 10th Annual Dessert Auction

Hello dear readers,

Just here to report that Cantilon's 9th Annual Dessert Auction went very smoothly and that it was a great start to our 10th Anniversary year. In a way I can't believe I have been doing this fundraiser for 9 years! I still remember the first one that was done at a small community club hall out in St. Albert. We have come so far since then. Now our Dessert Auction is held in the lovely Winspear Centre lobby and the whole evening is so smooth and organized.

I am happy to report that Belle Canto's performance of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy went quite well. I have to admit, I was royally screwing up some of the choreography during the practice cram session we were having before we got on stage, but I managed to pull off a smooth performance. Sure, overall we probably weren't that clean but we had fun with it and I think the audience thoroughly enjoyed it. Our Verdi piece also went extremely well I thought and it was so much easier to sing in a supportive acoustic. All the sustained musical lines felt so easy with the glassy and diffusive lobby atmosphere distributing our sound.

I wasn't able to watch the other choirs that evening but I did manage to catch Chamber Choir's performance. I sang with Chamber Choir when it first formed and it was a group that really shaped my skills as a chorister. The musical demands are high and a lot of commitment is required to be in the group since there are two rehearsals a week on top of a busy performance schedule with recording and touring worked into the mix as well. It is always interesting for me to see the blossoming singers. I recognize people from a few years back who were just starting out in the front row with a shy timidness about them and this year they are all standing in the backrow and singing with confidence and purpose. They sang Bach's Wir Eilen Mit Schwachen with wonderful vitality and lovely balance. Frobisher Bay was next and no matter how many times I hear this song or sing this song... I never get tired of it. During their performance I just closed my eyes and enjoyed their fused acoustic waveforms. Their final piece R. Murray Schafer's Raking Song was also an interesting pick since the last time I heard this song was when the St. Mary's Children's Choir performed it when we were on a choir exchange. I remember watching them in awe since it was the first time I saw extensive actions used for a choral piece! This was quite revolutionary for me to watch 7 years ago! However, we soon discovered their secret since they actually have choreography rehearsals for their songs and once they learn the actions, that song is within their permanent performance inventory. Thus, it was lovely to hear it again tonight and to see a bit of movement; however, it was nowhere near as extensive as the first time I saw it. I remember the St. Mary Children's Choir using a heavy raking action as they swung their hands over their shoulders, trying to carry the weight of their imaginary rake as they "beat the ground," and I also remember their fluttering jazz-like hands to simulating the rain coming down from the sky. I couldn't help but videotape a bit of the performance from the song tonight and I have posted it below so enjoy!

Overall, watching tonight's performances was like taking a trip down memory lane for me. There are so many songs that just stick with you as a chorister and it was fun to hear some of them again tonight and revisit all the memories associated with them.

Until next time, take care!

Cantilon's 10th Anniversary Birthday Cake

The Cantilon Chamber Choir


Prachi Jatin said...

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JennMarie Photography said...

I loved this! I used to be in Choir when I was in High School and I miss it so much, especially performances like these. Always sent chills up my spine :D