Yes it was another concert but not just another concert. My exhilaration at the quality of the music was compounded by Granddaughter Chloe being one of the Singers. This was a great concert because the music choices and the singing were great, so Chloe’s presence just magnified the impact.
Three choirs sang. All of them are part of a five ensemble choral program in the Kansas City Area called Allegro. The choir of sixty-three Middle School/Junior High Young Women that Chloe (almost 14) is in (Allegro Con Moto) will tour this summer, traveling to Chicago to perform. The Ensemble of about sixty-five Young Women in high school (Allegro Con Brio) travels internationally. A slightly smaller ensemble of younger boys and girls (Vivo Allegro) is of the same quality, shockingly good for such young singers.
The quality of the singing surprised me. The voices were perfectly matched. In fact the members moved from one place to another between each piece so that the voices that matched the specific part they were singing in each piece were together. At one point I thought there might be a multi-singer pile-up in the middle of the stage as most of the singers moved from one side of the stage to the other in just the few seconds between two of the songs.
What struck me was the meticulous attention to intonation, the distance between the notes within any chord. Those young treble voices were crystal clear and on pitch. They have been taught to sing with their mouths wide open, giving the sound a chance to resonate adding richness and body to those young voices. When they sang in unison, they were actually in unison (almost never happens even with very good choirs). The choice of music was varied and fitting the level of skill. The songs included classical pieces by Vivaldi and Mozart and Brahms, Spirituals (sung with animation), Folk Music (Russian and Dominican) contemporary pieces, one of which was composed for the choir. Their diction was impeccable, a challenge even to choirs of older and more experienced singers. It helped that the church in which they performed had wonderful acoustics allowing us to experience fully the quality of the singing.
Music, especially singing, has been central to my life for as long as I can remember, so it brought me special joy to see and hear Chloe singing in a program of such professional quality. This Grandpa couldn’t have had a better day!
I should add that after the concert there was a stop at Yogurtini for a 16oz. cup filled with far too much of four different flavors of frozen yogurt (Ultimate Chocolate, Dulce Le Leche, Peanut Butter and Double Cappuccino) topped with Heath bar, dark and milk chocolate chips, slivered almonds, peanut butter chips and a couple of squirts of Nutella. That was supper! The great day continued. That treat was followed by some time spent with the Kids at their house, just enjoying their company and conversation. It felt good to be with them.
What also nurtures this Grandpa’s joy is that the younger two beautiful Granddaughters in Kentucky seem interested in music. I have heard them singing (sometimes very loudly in the car). They have naturally perfect intonation, matching pitches exactly with their very pretty voices. Ashlyn (8) took to piano immediately when she started playing a couple of years ago at six years of age. Abigail (almost 10) is playing the guitar. Both of the girls are taking lessons. I understand that they have now switched instruments for a while and I am anxious to hear how they are doing.
I attended the Kansas City Symphony again on Friday. This time I was sitting in the stratosphere. I decided to get season tickets but chose the least expensive seats. The good news is that the acoustics at the Kauffman Center are so well done that I lost nothing in the quality of the experience. I missed being able to see the faces and the hands of those performing, but instead of only seeing the performers in the front row of the orchestra, I could see the whole orchestra from the front to the back from my lofty perch.
It has been a very good day!