Three Janice Edwards Voice Studio Students Chosen for the NH All-State Chorus
I am so proud of my 3 high school students who have been chosen to participate in NH All-State Chorus:
Rae Pizzi – Londonderry High School – “So Pretty” (Bernstein)
Julia Caselden – Pinkerton Academy – “Beau Soir” (Debussy)
Lydia Richman – John Stark High School – “Over the Rainbow” (Arlen)
It goes without saying that “chorus” is a relative term these days. In the “good old days”, singers would love participating in ensemble singing with their friends, families, colleagues. About a year ago, when “covid” became a common word, it quickly became known that singing in an ensemble – even a small one – would endanger singers due to the spread of “droplets” that could contain the Corona virus.
I could expand on this in a scientific manner, but in a few words, here is what the Emory University Choral Singers Covid Updates says:
Currently, it is not safe to sing in crowds.
Needless to say, this put solo and ensemble singers in a precarious position. Who knew?
Setting aside my, and millions of vocal professionals’, precautions for a moment – All-State Chorus has been a decades-long tradition as long as I can remember. When I was in high school (something-something-years ago), I absolutely LOVED traveling with my school mates from Gainesville, GA to Atlanta for 3 days of intense rehearsals with superior singers from all over the state. We rehearsed at a church on the Emory University campus, and our efforts culminated in a performance of about 8 pieces for a cappella choir at a large concert hall in downtown Atlanta. I was introduced to choral repertoire theretofore not known to me, such as “Choose Something Like a Star” from Randall Thompson’s cycle of songs based on poems of Robert Frost, Frostiana; and from Boito’s opera “Mefistofeles”, Prologue in Heaven: “Ave Signor”. I have always loved singing in ensembles, and I feel it is a wonderful experience for singers at all levels.
Of course, Covid has forced singers all over the world to modify or (sadly) even abandon ensemble singing. Hats off to the NHMEA (New Hampshire Music Educators Association) for moving forward with the 2021 All-State auditions, which I understand will be held virtually this year. My three beloved and talented NH high school singers, named above, have all passed their online auditions and will be participating in the (well-organized and safe) NH All-State Chorus. However it is organized, I know it will be an enriching experience for Rae, Lydia, and Julia.
This year, only 3 songs are planned, whereas in previous years, there were about 6 or 7 songs to be learned. Two of these songs are in English, and one in German. I look forward to teaching these songs to Rae, Lydia, and Julia, and feel great pride in their hard work and superior vocalism.