With an extra hour of sleep, our day began bright and cheery! We all got out of bed easily to begin our day. We headed to breakfast and shared the dining room with a football camp that was training on campus. After breakfast, we grabbed our music and made our way to the music hall for rehearsal. We split into mens and womens sectionals for the first rehearsal. The men got a visit from a longtime friend of Mr. Snyder’s, Simon. Simon is a tennis ball with a face drawn on him and an open slit for a mouth. His purpose is demonstrate an open and tall vowel shape, so singers can produce a mature sound.
During the rehearsal, it began to feel as though we have had the music for weeks and not just a couple days! After rehearsal, we moved to lunch, where we once again shared the dining hall. The circular tables in the dining hall are not that large, but we found ourselves pulling up chairs from all over and filling up tables with our smiling faces. After a wonderful lunch prepared by the Muskingum staff, we had some time to ourselves for naps, socializing, or studying music. Many of us used this time to get to know our new friends. After free time, we went back to rehearsal and gathered as the whole ensemble for a few songs. We then moved into parts again to work out some smaller details before dinner. Part rehearsals were quite productive and gave rise to a deeper understanding of the notes and rhythms of our most difficult songs.
Once dinner came to a draw, the choir gathered again to start our full rehearsal. On the list of songs to rehearse there were many challenging pieces such as “Honor and Glory” by J.S. Bach. After completing the piece, many of the singers cheered — we did it! Mr. Snyder then asked the Chorale how many of had previously thought that we wouldn’t be able to learn the piece. Almost every hand went up! Despite the doubt from the day before, the Chorale kept pushing forward and “Honor and Glory” is well on it’s way to being a new favorite! We then worked “On This Night of a Thousand Stars”, which was arranged by Muskingum staff member, Chorale friend, and former accompanist for Fred Waring, Len Thomas. Mr. Thomas is spending time with the Cardinal Chorale on Wednesday to work with us on his arrangement. We are so excited to have this experience with him!
We ended our day of rehearsing on a high note— literally and figuratively – as soprano Annie Huckaba, a graduate of Capital University in vocal performance, treated us to a concert of her own. Annie was also a member of the Cardinal Chorale. Her repertoire ranged from art songs and arias – songs stressing the importance of classical singing, as well as musical theater and even some pop and jazz. The Chorale was in awe the entire performance as we watched her singing techniques and facial expressions. One particular moment was when she was singing “In Uomini” from Cosi Fan Tutti. The song was entirely in Italian, and yet we could still follow her emotions and understand exactly what she was trying to portray. After the concert, we were able to talk with Annie about her experiences and how she got to the path she is taking today. The Chorale quickly was able to realize that she is not only a great performer, but a great person as well. Her performance had a great influence on the Cardinal Chorale and we want to thank her and her wonderful accompanist, Chad Baker, for spending their evening with us.
At the end of the night, a few guys got together in a dorm room to practice the song “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel. When other guys in the dorm heard it being sung, they all grabbed their music and rushed over to join in. Most of the guys had gathered in the room at this point and, with nothing but pitch pipes and determination, we worked through a song that we have never even touched in rehearsal! A magic moment like that is one that can only happen with a group like the Cardinal Chorale.
The singers then went off to their rooms for another night of restful slumber — the final full day of rehearsal is ahead of us!