Young Voices, Old Songs at Choral Concert

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Our Junior and Middle School choirs teamed up for a concert this week, filling Christ Church Cathedral with their lovely voices.

For the Grade 4 students, who only just began choir this school year, it was a particularly exciting experience. Their opening number, “Me Ol’ Bamboo” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, featured a few choreographed moves with “bamboo” sticks as props. They followed it up with “Hushabye Mountain” also from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which they had insisted on singing despite the fact the Grade 5 students sang it last year. They ended with a sweet song about love: “Lemon Tree” (made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary).

The Grade 5 students opened with the folk song “Tum Balalaika,” which was sung in two-part harmony. They quickly switched things up with a pop song by Eric Clapton, the mournful “Tears in Heaven.” With their opera debut just a couple of weeks away, the Grade 5 singers ended their set by waltzing down the aisle of the church to music from The Gypsy Baron.

Beginning the Middle School portion of the evening, the Grade 6 students sang “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from The Phantom of the Opera and followed up with “Evening Prayer” from the 1892 opera Hansel and Gretel. “Kalinka” — sung in Russian — was particularly impressive, notably because the students sang both in an unfamiliar language and unaccompanied by piano. A Grammy-winning song from the 1980s movie Flashdance (“What a Feeling”) made for a lively finale!

The Grade 7 choir — divided into soprano, alto and bass — first sang “Sinner Man,” an old spiritual most famously recorded by Nina Simone. They followed it up with a piece from Les Misérables, “On My Own,” which showcased their ability to sing tight harmonies, and “Tapestry,” a lesser known song from Carole King.

Wrapping up the night was the Grade 8 Choir. The most experienced singers of the night performed in four-part harmony, first with “The Prayer,” a light classical piece sung in both English and Italian. Their rendition of the feel-good hit “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” helped end the night on an upbeat note.

After announcing the end of the concert, Choir Director Duncan Frater was surprised by the Grade 8 choir singing him one final number, the perennial classic: “Happy Birthday.”

Photos from this concert are available in the SMUS photo gallery. Did you miss the Senior School Mixed Ensembles Concert? Read Jake Humphries’ review of the night or watch the full concert on SMUSTube.

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