Friday we had our 11th Annual Bay Area Youth Choral Festival -an event we always look forward to.  Some new things this year - two choirs who had never been before from Sacramento - Jesuit ( all men) and St. Francis ( all women).  It had been ages since we had single sex choirs in the festival. The three other choirs joining us were from Acalanes, Davis, and Gilroy High Schools -it's always good to see those very groups and their longtime directors. The LAB Choir made its long awaited debut.  It was a great day! We start by singing  a song to get us all in the right mood.

Ben and the LAB Choir then led us in our warmup.

Matt Curtis explains the secret of singing high

All together in our respective sections, we rehearsed the tutti concert numbers.

After lunch and socializing, each choir sang its own numbers

We have a brief meeting to decide how we can be helpful and which of us will go with which choir

Then off we go to our homerooms for almost two hours of work together - one of the day's highlights.

Gregory, Cortez, and Michael McNeil had a great time with the St. Francis choir, so much so that Gregory kept crying!

Adam and Brian, Acalanes, and their director Bruce Lengacher.

Casey (at his first ever youth choral festival) with Jace, and the Davis Madrigal Singers and their director Karen Gardias.

Eric, Matt Curtis and Michael Axtell ( also having this experience for the first time) and the Jesuit men.

Ben Jones and Alan with Gilroy.

The last event of the afternoon is the tutti rehearsal which involves a fair amount of logistics getting everybody on and off stage - all 200 or so of us, separately and together.  Matt Oltman directs traffic.  Then pizza dinner and more socializing.

The LAB Choir kicks of the concert, singing two pretty hard numbers unconducted (Chanticleer style.)  They did really well!

The Davis Madrigal Singers are always the most colorful!

And a long and good day ends with all of us - conducted by Matt Oltman- singing Barber's "Sure on this Shining Night" and Sydney Guillaume's "Kalinda."  After that we all went off in to the night - our guests for some long bus and car rides.   We thank the students, parents and directors for their enthusiasm and hard work and managing to get themselves out of school and come so far.  We thank members of the LAB Choir for being so helpful during the day. We always really enjoy meeting parents when they come and we appreciate their support of their children's love of singing.  Quite a few of our board members and donors were there too, and we thank them for their support of our education programs.   Now the kids will go back to school and we'll go back to the road - Tuesday Sun City, Arizona, then Kingwood and San Marcos, Texas on a tour which lasts until November 7.

Then, very soon, it will be Christmas!  Be sure to get your Christmas concert tickets early - Bay Area tickets are selling well alreay- and remember that our new CD "A Chanticleer Christmas" can solve a lot of your gift giving problems!

see you soon