Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 5 of SMWC Choir Tour: Lincoln Center Performance Day!

Steps outside of Lincoln Center
The day began a little bit off kilter because unfortunately, Michael Boswell (Director) was very ill throughout the night and was still sick as the students were dressed in their performance dress and waiting in the lobby! SMWC music faculty Sharon Boyle (also Michael's wife) relayed his request that the students eat lunch near the hotel. Our bus driver set the GPS, but we ended up going much further than anticipated! The students were wonderful, listening to all directives, following them, and really working together as a group to make sure everyone got to the rehearsal on time. Michael joined the group after lunch, still not feeling well, but not about to miss the reason we are all here in NYC! The students got their performance folders, music ready, and off we went to Lincoln Center for their 2:00 call for dress rehearsal! We actually arrived early, so there was time for pictures.

The day is here!
In front of Lincoln Center
Our group with Hilary Apfelstadt, DCINY Conductor

 The students had dinner on their own during the 4:00-6:15 p.m. break and then it was showtime at 7:00 p.m.! Seeing the size of the women's choir was impressive, but seeing our students up on the Lincoln Center stage was thrilling. The choir sounded really wonderful, singing a range of songs which were categorized under sections such as "We revere women in spiritual bliss", "We salute women in celebration", "We hear women in moments of reflection", and "We honour women in observations of the world". A piece by Michael Sample, "Cancion de Los Tsachilas" included percussion and was energetic and exciting, incorporating rhythmic elements with the native language of Tsafiki (used by the indigenous community of the Tsachilas located in the northern coastal region of Ecuador). An interesting piece of information is that by purchasing the piece to sing, each ensemble actively helped to protect and promote the Tsachila community as a portion of proceeds from publication were sent to the community directly!

Director Michael Boswell with his family
The set on reflection was particularly beautiful, with Joan Szymko's "Always Coming Home" incorporating cello and piano, and using text such as "May your soul be at home where there are no houses" and " Walk carefully, walk fearlessly, be always coming home".  "In the Lavender Stillness of Dawn" by Jocelyn Hagen used violin, cello, and piano to accompany the choir on a beautiful piece which pulled images from the music and into the air with text (Poetry by Meggan Tavel) blending so wonderfully with the music: "Drifting on the edge of a dream, Dancing on the tail of a song, Swimming in a sea of violet soft clouds, In the lavender stillness of dawn". In addition to seeing our students sing with their whole selves on the stage, it was also a wonderful moment when all the directors from the choirs participating in the event came out on stage to take a bow. Despite being so sick earlier in the day and still not feeling well, Michael was able to come on stage and be recognized with the other directors.  The second half of the program consisted of a combined mixed choir, including the Brooklyn Children's Choir, to perform Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana".

Another surprise for many of the students was getting to see Sydney Guillaume, composer of the commissioned piece for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Madrigals, "La Providence" (listen here), who attended the concert this evening!

Woods alumnae, President King, various staff, Cabinet members, and students from the Spring Break Service Trip all were in attendance. A lot of Woods support for a really special event.
Michael Boswell with composer Sydney Guillaume

A few of the Madrigals who performed
Sydney Guillaume's piece "La Providence"

The evening ended with some of the choir members opting to go to the "performers only" reception held after the concert, which apparently had an amazing spread of food. Those who did not choose to attend the reception came back on the bus with the "non-performers" of the group and were delighted by the spontaneous group sing of "Let it Go", led by the 8-year-old daughter of Michael (Boswell) and Sharon (Boyle). It seemed like such an appropriate way to end such an incredible day. Tomorrow morning the group will take a tour of Ellis Island (ferry ride) and see the Statue of Liberty before embarking on the second half of the tour, starting with a concert in Wilmington, DE.

Reception for singers (Photo Credit: Kirsten Webb)

1 comment:

  1. Sister Sue Pietrus is smiling down from heaven:)