by Lucie Duffort
It’s that time again, time to put away the pens and school calendars and take a much-deserved break to celebrate the season. As students breathe away the stress of finals and faculty kicks it into grading gear, we thought we’d look back at SHC’s holiday choral concert, to send us off in song.
“We have chosen music that is joyful and makes us happy, that is powerful and makes us strong, and probably most importantly makes us feel less alone in the world.”
After a year that has been trying for many, Director of Music Christian Bohm’s opening address created a thankful and reflective space in which to absorb the melody, harmony, and rhythm that represent so much work for our choral community.
The highlights of this concert displayed a range of human emotion, holiday, secular and otherwise. The Men’s Chorus gave a touching rendition of “Bui Doi” from Ms. Saigon. Honors Chamber Choir added body and vocal percussion for a rousing arrangement of Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal.” SHC Chamber Choir’s version of Patriquin’s “J’entends le Moulin” was both textured and whimsical … Not to mention the soul in our soloists!
When the snow started coming down over the Women’s Ensemble performance of Anastasia favorite “Once Upon a December,” the California concert hall became a little more magical. In the final touch, sending us off with a full ensemble rendition of “Night of Silence/Silent Night,” Ms. Smith invited the audience to participate in the circle of song, and we gladly joined in.
Each year, these concerts naturally highlight the work of our student as well as faculty leaders. Senior Emily Fukuda (President of Chorus, director of our women’s a capella group, Treble in the High Cs, and a talented arranger) shines a light on the importance of music and community that echoes the ideas of Mr. Bohm:
“I had never felt as accepted and loved in an extra curricular until I auditioned for SHC Chorus. As cliché as it sounds, Chorus truly is a family. Our passion and love of music creates a bond that unites us for life… This winter, we performed a song called “You Will Be Found”.” In a time where society feels polarized and students at SHC feel buried under an avalanche of assignments, exams, and college apps, our performance warmed everyone's hearts and reminded them that they are not alone, even in the darkest of times. SHC Chorus provided a loving family who helped me grow as a person and performer. I will be forever grateful for Mr. Bohm, Ms. Smith, Mr. McCurdy, and all my fellow singers.”
Looking out that night across the faces of singers smiling and focused on their choral leaders, this sense of unity in song and effort was undeniable. Succeeding in creating music together, in groups from ten to fifty, reminds us that in one voice there are many, and in many one.
Congratulations to all performers, players, and contributors. Thank you for your reminder to Oh Be Joyful. Happy holidays to all, may yours be full of music and the warmth of the season.
View the full concert here: