Friday, March 6, 2009
I was invited by Abbey's choir teacher to help chaperon the Advanced Choir group as they attended their yearly competition. It was a long day with many many flights of stairs, seemingly endless hallways and being moved from one hot room to another until they were finally allowed on stage to compete. They spent oh - maybe 10 minutes on stage and half of it was in silence as the judges wrote down their scores between songs. They looked so pretty in their long choir gowns .... I wish I had taken my steamer because most of the girls pulled their gown out of their back packs!!! Wrinkled and all they sounded amazing. They received a 2 , meaning they were above average. After they sang their rehearsed music they were moved to another oh so hot holding area before being ushered into a smaller room to perform a piece they had never seen or rehearsed. That part of the competition is called Sight Reading. Basically they have to know music well enough to read it and perform it. Their teacher had 4 minutes to guide them through the music without instrumental or vocal aids!! The whole time they practiced they had to do it in their heads, without tapping out notes or rhythms or they would be disqualified. After their practice their teacher is allowed to play 4 notes on the piano and then they have to perform with out her help at all. I don't read music and I haven't a clue what b flat or any other note sounds like but wow these kids were just amazing ... they sang the song so beautifully it nearly had me in tears. To me it sounded perfect, like one of the old Latin Church songs where it sounds like it's almost chanting ... sadly to the keen ears of the judges it was only a 3 ... meaning they were average. Oh well. Maybe next year.