Choir Tour to New York
There may be over two hundred people in the room, but you are certain he is looking at you. The swish of his hands, the thunder of his look and the flash of his displeasure all indicate your inflection was imperfect, your diphthong not pronounced, your vowel sound wayward. You had thought the fact you had learned the notes so well meant that you were home and dry. You might even be able to show the way to a few people around you. But these are expectations like none other. Even the very strength of your intake of breath is being listened to attentively. If you waver on that last note, if you drift just a little below (or above) the centre of the pitch, it will be noticed, it will be challenged. Here there is no safety in numbers: however impressive the carnival of voices around you, there is a remarkable professional precision. In the quieter passages, your capacity to upset the finely balanced equilibrium, the poised and refined nuance of the company of singers, is perilous.
This was the standard of DCINY’s three-day inimitable choral experience. This was the discipline the maestros Simon Carrington and Bob Chilcott instilled in their international chorus of adept singers and we were thrilled and delighted to be part of it. In the process of our 12 hours of rehearsal, we were able to sample a little of the exquisite expertise of the King's Singers for ourselves and to luxuriate in the pleasures of their more-or-less unparalleled skill.
In this section of the website, we promise to share a little of our experience with the wider school community. Having been granted leave of absence, and having been so generously and kindly supported by so many donors and well-wishers, we have returned determined to convey something of the magic of our adventures, something of the rarity of the quality of music making, something of the privilege to sing in Carnegie Hall and to sing with such fabulous and internationally acclaimed musicians. The pages here will document some of our music, some of the experience of singing in Carnegie Hall, and some of the wider beauty of New York in the spring time, its glorious galleries, monuments and quirky cultural twists. It will involve contributions from students and be updated over the next few weeks with diary entries, poetry and prose in gratitude for the fortune of our very special trip.
We greatly enjoyed singing music arranged and composed by our talented conductor, Bob Chilcott. ‘High Flight’, a moving and deeply spiritual prayer, composed a decade before for the King’s Singers 40th anniversary, was contrasted beautifully by his ‘En La Macarenita’, a jubilant and light hearted Spanish dance and his timeless arrangement of the Billy Joel song, ‘And So It Goes’. All a delicious complement to Nico Muhly’s rich and beautiful four-movement work, ‘To Stand In This House’. Recorded by King’s College, Cambridge earlier this year (and due for release on 1st May 2018), this is an opus of tremendous depth that reaches to the very soul. Its musical language, its willingness to use irregular rhythm, to push tonal boundaries and to be at once playful and reverent, comforting and haunting, amusing and intellectually provocative gave it a pallet of enormous breadth. To have the wonderful privilege to workshop the music with the composer himself was a further thrill to add to all of the others. Such sumptuous musical sustenance demands more than these current words can convey and in due course these pages will give light to the perspectives beyond that of my own!
The Concert's Review, from NYConcertReview.com
Francesca's Reflections on a Big Apple
Ana's work, New York: A Poem