The Senior School Choral Concert was the final event in a spectacular year of musical performances. The concert was a wonderful way to wrap up our academic year, not only for the outstanding talent shown by the choral students but also because the concert was their final performance under Choir Director Madeleine Humer, who recently announced her retirement.
Accompanied by a few musicians, the Chamber Choir began the evening with a missa brevis (short mass) of several pieces by Joseph Haydn, a contemporary of Beethoven, which featured Dorothee Stieber in a soprano solo. The Grade 11/12 Choir performed the bittersweet piece “The Music’s Always There with You” and hymn-like “The Earth Adorned,” by Swedish composer Waldemar Åhlén.
“Colours of the Wind,” from Disney’s Pocahontas, began the Grade 9/10 Choir’s set, and was followed up with 1960s pop song “For Once in my Life,” which has been performed by Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Next, the stage was emptied as the Chamber Choir performed Anglican piece “Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G major” from the second level of the Christ Church Cathedral, which let their voices echo around the audience.
The Senior Boys’ Chorus switched it up by performing the lively musical number “There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame,” including some impressive solo work from Thompson Wong, and “Greased Lightin’” from the movie Grease. The Senior Girls Chorus also delivered some pop music as they sang a medley of songs from the ABBA-inspired musical Mamma Mia!, including “Dancing Queen” and “I Have a Dream.”
The Senior choirs ended the evening with a diverse six-piece set, beginning with “Voices of the Earth” by UBC professor Stephen Chatman. They then performed classic pieces from Vivaldi and Handel, before moving into “The Storm is Passing Over.” The singers then performed the “Freedom Trilogy,” three separate pieces of music that can be layered to produce a unified sound.
Senior School Director Kath Roth then took to the stage to thank Ms. Humer for her “absolute, unwavering passion for music” and her “unfailing support of and belief in young people.” Students brought up several bouquets of flowers and bid farewell to their choir teacher, before returning to the stage to sing Paul Simon’s “Bridge over Troubled Water.”