Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yale-Princeton Concert 2014

Wow, what a concert!

Not only did we premiere three new pieces--"Telegram," "Valentine for Hands," and "The World Meets Here," but the composers, and in the case of Telegram, the poet, were all present to hear their pieces sung for the first time in front of a live audience. "Telegram" is a setting of a poem by Annie Finch, put to music by the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award winning composer Jennifer Higdon. Although Jennifer was unable to come to the premiere, we're so glad that Annie was able to make it! Another composer, winner of the Glee Club 2014 Emerging Composers Competition, Dale Trumbore, came all the way from California to hear the premiere of her piece, "Valentine for Hands." Last but not least, we premiered "The World Meets Here" by Scarlett Zuo, the Glee Club student conductor and winner of this year's Fenno Heath Award. So many premieres!

Besides the new music that was premiered, we also sang two beautiful sacred pieces. The first was the first movement of the Brahms "Ein Deutsches Requiem," and the second was the Angus Dei from Frank Martin's "Mass for Double Choir." The Brahms was accompanied by our very own Jonathan Rajaseelan and Tim Laciano, who played the four hands piano reduction written by Brahms himself. We'll be singing the entire Requiem next semester with a a full orchestra, so be on the lookout! The second piece, the Angus Dei, is a personal favorite of mine. We sang the Sanctus from the Martin Mass during the 2011-2012 season, so the seniors were especially excited to be singing another movement from Martin's gorgeous setting. It sounded especially beautiful tonight--singing in front of an audience gave it the extra "oomph" that it needed. Can't wait to sing it again at the Harvard concert!

We also sang some folk songs, one of which was a beautiful song about friendship, written by Jeff and dedicated to his son, entitled, "I'll Go With You." The second folk piece was "Unclouded Day," a fun spiritual that gives the Glee Club a chance to belt in a sacred harp style--and who doesn't love doing that? We also sang the traditional fight songs, accompanied by the annual prank. This year's prank involved a Glee Clubber in a tiger suit being led across the stage on a leash (it was very difficult to keep from laughing when he was all but pulled across the stage) which was greeted by the usual hissing from our rivals.

Then of course there was the premiere of this year's Chamber Singers! (You thought I was done with premieres didn't you?) Under the direction of the lovely Max Holmon, the Chamber singers sang "Nachtlied," a beautiful and harmonically challenging piece by the German composer Max Reger. Congratulations Max and the Chamber Singers on a great first performance!

The Chamber Singers performing "Nachtlied"

Then there was Princeton. Rivals though they may be, no one can deny that they sounded absolutely sublime. They sang a variety of music, ranging from Purcell's "Hear My Prayer" to English folk song "Seventeen Come Sunday" to a Gospel inspired setting of The Lord's Prayer.

All in all, it was a great concert, and a tradition that we hope will continue in the generations to come! Onward to Harvard!

With Glove,

Victoria Pierre