July 29, 2010
Dear families and friends,
As promised, a post-tour post. VERY post-tour! It has been almost a month since we returned from Canada with Festival Singers, and three months since our spring tours with National and Regional Tour Choirs. On one hand it seems like only yesterday. On the other, like a lifetime! We did, indeed, return safely from our royal Canadian adventure. The final Canada Day concert, played to the third full house of the day, was very enthusiastically received. Good-byes were long and loud, with many promises to keep in touch via email and Facebook – what DID we do before email and Facebook?! With Dilly Bars in hand, we headed back to the lawn of the City Hall Festival Plaza, just behind the National Arts Center, to enjoy the evening’s celebratory fireworks. There were very few people there, as opposed to the tens-of-thousands crowding the lawns and streets in front of the Parliament Buildings, and our bus was able to park right on the street in front of us, making for a quick and easy exit at the end of the evening. We were looking at the skyline of downtown Ottawa, including the Parliament Buildings, backlit by a gorgeous sunset. It looked just like a DisneyWorld backdrop.
By then, everyone was appropriately adorned in Canadian flags. Like to take a guess as to how many Canadian flags one can get into their hair all at the same time, and who won the contest? Hint: We’re talking dozens, and it may have been a tie between a staff member and several of the girls. Check out the photos posted on the CCC Facebook fan page, or our blog. We passed the time waiting for fireworks in a variety of ways, including flirting with the Medicine Hat girls…again…and eventually, of course, everyone was singing. The Medicine Hat girls started, with our favorite of their repertoire, a charming folksong artfully sung, complete with a bit of choreography. Not to be outdone, our Festival Singers did an a cappella version of “Swingin’ with the Saints,” with a beautifully moving “Swing Low” followed by the fun of “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.” As usual, they stole the show. On the final chord and freeze of “Swingin’ with the Saints,” perfectly on cue, the first of the fireworks exploded right over their heads. It was incredible. The entire lawn burst into applause and cheering. It was the ultimate “button of excellence” if I’ve ever seen one!!
Our journey home was, again, uneventful and just the way we like to travel. We arrived safely back in Denver to waiting families, and ready to finally start the summer holiday – a well-earned break for this amazing troupe of performers. We said “good-bye and good luck” to our graduates, though we know we will see many of them this fall as they return for Transitions and/or as Graduate Assistants. Those returning to Tour Choir were already talking about the new repertoire and the excitement of a new season, but not before they get their fill of family vacations, Elitch’s, Water World and sleeping in!
It’s always very quiet here in the Chorale office during the summer months, with one notable exception. June and July bring hundreds of little feet and voices dancing and singing their way down the hallway for that first introduction to the Colorado Children’s Chorale, THE AUDITION. It is a favorite time of year for the entire staff, especially those who “live” in the office (the administrative staff, hard at work ending the fiscal year, processing registration info, and booking and promoting the upcoming season). Sweet little voices come floating out of the Billings Studio, and as they go back and forth we get a glimpse of bows, ruffles, ties, bouncing curls, and slicked-down hair. Smiles abound!
Planning for the 2010-11 season is well underway. With an international tour (South Africa!) on the books for April of 2011, we will concentrate on music of the Americas for this season. If you caught our Vail concert in June, you heard a preview of what’s to come – from Copland and Bernstein to John Denver and Stephen Flaherty. We’re very excited, not only about the music, but the amazing talent we have in this year’s Tour Choir. We will be at the Botanic Gardens on August 16 to sing for the opening of the Mordecai Children’s Garden, and back in rehearsals by the end of August.
As I write, we are finalizing the roster for the 2010-11 Concert Choir, and it looks every bit as exciting as Tour Choir’s. Their rehearsals also begin in late August, and Concert Choir Camp will be here before we know it. The first Concert Choir performance is coming oh-so-quickly in October, when they will appear with the Cherry Creek Chorale. Apprentice Choir and Prep Choir will begin rehearsals in mid-September. And the circle continues.
The artistic staff spent three days with our local choral colleagues at the Colorado ACDA conference here in Denver. It’s always a great time to connect with old friends, talk “shop,” investigate new collaboration ideas, and see what new music is available. We’ll get some vacation time in – Mr. Branam liked Montreal so much that he took Mrs. Branam back there this week; Ms. Burke stayed in Ottawa for a few days, and is headed back to Canada next week to enjoy a Shakespeare Festival; Mrs. Crile is spending every possible minute with her two beautiful girls; and I am spending every possible minute on my patio or with my daughter getting ready for the new grandchild, with a couple of long Colorado weekends thrown in when my husband can get away.
With gratitude for a dedicated staff and board, committed and loving parents, and EXTRAORDINARILY TALENTED AND AMAZING CHILDREN,