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Choir and Orchestra Beam in “Ode to the North”

(Sean J./Staff)

Our choir and orchestra performed at the North Campus of the First Community Church in a combined presentation on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. First, the choir sang three songs, followed by two pieces from both choir and orchestra before four orchestra compositions. The evening’s theme was “Ode to the North,” with most of the pieces written or arranged by Canadian composers.

Director Mr. Jenkins led the choir with Mrs. Kristoff playing accompaniment on piano. The concert started with “The Bridge Builder” by Eleanor Daley, an ethereal song evoking the power of friendship with lyrics building a metaphorical bridge between companions. The next song was Tracy Wong’s ”Sehati” which featured Adi S. as a soloist and Chaz M. on the djembe. The tempo was much faster in this second song, and the lyrics were in Malay and English. The choir continued the bilingual trend with Katerina Gimon’s “Take This Thread/Le fil que je suis” which featured French and English. Aided by Mr. Greenwood’s violin participation in the piece, the choir described the relationships between people as the invisible threads between them. The finale of the choir section was the world premiere of “With My Heart I’ll Sing,” a composition commissioned for composer Matthew Emery by Mr. Jenkins. On the Toronto springbbreak trip, the CA choir will meet Matthew and perform for him.

After “With My Heart I’ll Sing,” the orchestra joined the choir for “Sleep Now” by Matthew Emery, a soothing lullaby tune. The combined musicians then performed “New World” arranged by Mark Sirett, a pop song rearranged for group vocals and strings.

After the choir left the stage, Mr. Greenwood conducted the first number for the orchestra, “Geometric Dances: Square Dance” by Richard Meyer, an upbeat song reminiscent of music from Pirates of the Caribbean. Up next was “A Beethoven Lullaby” by Brian Balmages, a version of the classic “Ode to Joy” that Mr. Greenwood described as “less peppy.” The next composition was “Lullaby” by William Hofeldt, another soothing piece in which Sophie W. performed a solo. To close the night, the advanced orchestra played “Heart of Fire” by Lauren Bernofsky, which changed the pace from sleepy and lullaby-themed to intensity, with many rising and falling notes in quick succession. The piece featured solos from Sohpie, Alisha A., Irena A., Harry L., and Abbey Z.

Abbey said, “We only started some of these songs about less than a month ago, and so for us to be able to be together this cohesively and actually include dynamics and tempo and technical flourishes like that, we thought it was really impressive on our end.”


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