Waking up this morning was hard, as this was the most bittersweet day of camp. We ate our breakfast with our opera for the last time this week, receiving our final opus challenges. One opus decided to continue a running practical joke that Mr. Snyder shares with another Coshocton musician which involves sneaking baby carrots into various places where the other person will see them throughout the day. Some of the favorite hiding spots included: in Mr. Snyder’s bag, on his rehearsal music stand, inside the cough drop bag and, in one memorable instance, in his mashed potatoes! After breakfast, we were asked to start packing up some of our belongings in the dorms. It’s hard to believe that this week is over already!
Since it was raining again today, we were driven to our morning full ensemble rehearsal. Today’s rehearsals needed to be pretty quick since we wouldn’t have as much time in the day for rehearsing as we have had the past week. We sped through the list of songs for the concert, reviewing the pieces that we felt needed touching up. Every Chorale and staff member was amazed at how far we have come in just seven days of singing. What we are capable of, musically and socially, is truly incredible, especially when some of us have only just met.
Lunchtime came around with more singing to the cafeteria staff (“Skip to My Lou”). They appreciated our song and told us how happy they were to have us back at Muskingum this year.
Also during lunch, our friend and Muskingum student, Dylan, came up with the idea to light a candle on a piece of cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to someone in the group. He decided that we would sing the piece to “Pamela Anderson”. Dylan set the cake in front of Logan, who was very confused about the practical joke, but enjoyed the cake nonetheless.
After our lunchtime shenanigans, we went to our rooms to change into our new concert uniforms and to finish packing our things. Though it’s only been a week, we have all become very used to living with our fellow Chorale members in the dorms at the University.
We were then transported by staff cars again to Caldwell Hall to practice for our 4:00 concert.
We rehearsed our processional for the first time, along with several other songs that we didn’t get to practice this morning. Soon enough, it seemed the day was almost over. We took a small break to collect ourselves for our first performance as the 22nd edition of the Cardinal Chorale.
Lining up for our debut concert, we tried to remember that this is not just the end to a great week at camp, but the beginning of a whole year full of friendships and singing. As we entered the theater to take the risers, we were introduced to a house that was packed full of our family, friends, and supporters. The audience looked thrilled to be with us. From the initial note of our first song, “There’s Music in the Air”, the concert went off without a hitch. Everyone stayed in step during our processional, “As We are Walking in the Light” and we nailed the rhythms and Latin words of “Exultate Justi”. These things gave us the confidence we needed to finish the rest of the concert.
The second half of the concert was even better than the first! It included Jacob’s rendition of “Ya Got Trouble” from the Music Man and many more highlights. Every soloist performed beautifully, including Jared, Logan, Jacob, Nick, Morgan, Connor, and Shawn. We also had a very special guest conductor: Mr. Len Thomas. Mr. Thomas arranged many of the pieces and choral codas that we sing, some of which were written when was an accompanist with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and some of which were commissioned by the Cardinal Chorale. We were very honored to be under his direction for the piece “All the Things You Are”. The concert concluded to enthusiastic applause by the audience.
After we left the stage, Chorale members began to say goodbye to all the friends with whom they had spent the week. It was an emotional goodbye because the bonds we have forged this week are very special to us. Leaving our friends isn’t easy, but we are sure that we will see each other soon. Chorale members and staff reminisced on all the progress every single singer made this week, musically, spiritually, and personally. Some of us became less shy and more open to other people. Some of us realized the type of person we want to be. Others decided what they want their future career to be. Everyone worked toward becoming the best version of themselves, body, mind, spirit, and voice.
Thank you to all who made this week possible, including singers, staff, donors, recruiters, Muskingum University music staff, cleaning staff, dining staff, and administrators, and many, many more people! Every effort you gave, made a difference in someone else’s life. The Cardinal Chorale will never forget your gifts. Thank you!