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Youth Choral Festival


14th annual Youth Choral Festival

Many people contribute to making these days a success. Our Board and supporters and staff, LAB 9 who heped make everything go smoothly and also sang, the dedicated Choir Directors without whom nothing would be possible: Mary Stocker, Michael Najar and Monica Covitt, Karen Gardias, Jason Chan, and Dana Alexander, whose Montgomery High School Chamber Singers were with us for the first time.

We finished the afternoon with rehearsal and q and a and sang Ring of Fire ( from our new album) for the singers so they could hear the wonders of Eric's voice close up. Pizza dinner in the courtyard, then the concert which LAB 9 opened. Choirs were Albany, Palo Alto, Davis, Lowell and Montgomery. Then the finale of Si ch'io vorrei morire and Rockin Jerusalem with the biggest tutti ( almost 300 of us) we've ever had.













Afternoon ( the best part) at the Youth Choral Festival

The heart of the Youth Choral Festival for us and the participants are the sessions with individual choirs which happen in the afternoon. We divide up. Each choir has 2 or 3 of us for about an hour and a half of detailed work, based on what we heard when everybody presented their numbers.









Morning at the Youth Choral Festival

We sang for the newly arrived singers, we all warmed up, we rehearsed one of our tutti numbers for the concert this evening - which will be packed. Jace Wittig and Ben Johns led the joint sessions.
Then lunch, then we heard everybody's songs for the concerts, on which we'll work together this afternoon.








An education update from Ben Johns

Chanticleer began its education season on September 1 with the first rehearsal of LAB 9 - the ninth iteration of the honors youth choir named for Chanticleer's founder, Louis A. Botto. LAB 9 is preparing a program called "Geographical Fugue" which features some tricky early music in French and German. Due to the extra exposure to foreign language, the group has been studying up on the International Phonetic Alphabet and great singers of mélodies and Lieder. This weekend, the LABbies will benefit from some work with our longtime friend and conductor emeritus of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Vance George. LAB 9 has already performed at the Sing with Haiti benefit concert at Grace Cathedral (I got to conduct 300 middle and high schoolers!) and plans to sing for schools later this month, including an appearance at Chanticleer's Youth Choral Festival on October 18.

This year's Youth Choral Festival represents regions from the entire Bay Area. We'll be singing with 250 choristers from the following high schools: Lowell (SF), Albany, Palo Alto, Montgomery (Santa Rosa), and Davis. This is the 17th local festival we have hosted since 2000, the 13th for high schools. We cram a lot of activity into the festival day, from Chanticleer-led warm-ups and combined choir rehearsal (when members of Chanticleer sing alongside the high schoolers) to break-out workshops, a pizza dinner, and a closing concert. The amount of choral energy generated and focused is truly spectacular and indelibly affects the next generation of singers.

We are also proud to announce an education partnership with the Peninsula-based Music For Minors. We will collaborate with them on a number of projects this season aimed at supporting elementary music education in the Bay Area. The partnership kicked off on Sept. 7 when I gave a workshop to 36 teachers and staff of Music For Minors on maintaining vocal health while teaching. Otherwise, it's education business as usual: by Oct. 20, we will have given 8 master classes to groups in the Bay Area and on the road and reached a total of 796 students through our programs since Sept. 1.