Spoleto Festival – First Westminster Choir Rehearsal/Second El Niño

Yesterday brought our first Westminster Choir rehearsal on tour music that we haven’t sung since January. Talk about exhilarating…

As a choir, we’ve put forth a lot of effort into memorizing and learning the Adams’ piece. We’ve developed a sound, stuck with it, and given of ourselves emotionally and physically to produce a wonderful operatic production. Now we have to switch gears and jump back into our sound world and re-create the music we originally rehearsed for our tour. It’s interesting watching our family sing music for the first time in months. It’s as if we never left it. Sure, some pieces were rocky, but the general performance quality and creative ideals each piece brought to existence suddenly danced from our voices as if it never left. How does this happen? I don’t know if I have an answer, but I think a large part of it has to do with trust. Trust that each choir member has given his or her utmost dedication to the ensemble; trust that our conductor still inspires wonder and creativity through every gesture and rehearsal technique; trust that we, as a creative body, are on a mission to shake this world through song.

At the end of our rehearsal, Dr. Miller alerted us to “second-show energy” for the El Niño performance that evening and told us we shouldn’t succumb to it. A light dinner break gave way to costume and make-up calls before our second performance. Some movements worked, others had shaky foundations, but the overall performance quality was just as striking as the first. We received a standing ovation within moments of the house lights going up. Afterward, many Westminster Choir College students who road-tripped to enjoy the Charleston performance and hospitality greeted and congratulated us on a job well done. Times like these remind me of the strength of the Westminster Choir College community.

El Nino

Photograph Jennifer Lynn Photography. Courtesy of The Spoleto Festival USA.

Today brings choral rehearsals on tour music and our choral-orchestral concerts with the Charleston Symphony Chorus.

About Westminster Choir

Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a center for music study in Princeton, N.J.
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