After we awoke this morning at 7am, we prepared for the day with a delicious breakfast in the dining hall. Sitting with our opera (our small ensembles of friends and staff members), we went through the “A, B, C, D” procedure for the first time this week: Attendance, Business, Challenge, and Dismissal.
With music, water bottles, and pencils in hand, we left to go to our sectional rehearsals in Walter Hall. Josh S. and Josh D. helped us warm up our voices and we began singing our first several songs of the day.
After two hours of sectional rehearsals, it was finally time for lunch! Chicken, mac and cheese, french fries, and tacos were all gratefully eaten by the Chorale members. Some even experimented with different combinations of food, most of which did not pass the deliciousness test.
Then, it was time to go to our electives. After a door-and-key fiasco in the girl’s dorms, we were on way. Each day, we focus on every part of the Cardinal Chorale mantra: “Body, mind, spirit, voice; it takes the whole person to sing and rejoice”. Today’s emphasis was on ‘Body’. Our four assigned groups were: yoga with Beth, rhythm with Matt, conducting with Josh, and line dancing with Ann. Each elective was given high praise by everyone!
We then split up into our four voice parts and prepared for part rehearsals. There were several songs that needed to be worked on today, but there isn’t much in this choir that can’t be fixed in part rehearsals.
Then we were ready to reassemble as a whole ensemble, combining what we learned in sectional rehearsals. The sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses made wonderful progress. Each the songs sounded noticeably better than before and each section became much more confident about their notes. The Latin song, “Exultate Justi,” turned into a complete song…minus the Latin text, which we will add later.
Of course, what’s a stay on a college campus without some authentic dining hall food? So, then we traveled in a pack back over (and up) the steep, foot-killing hills of Muskingum for dinner!
But wait…”There’s a Pokéstop!,” some members announced on their way down the hill. Some members, including Harrison caught a a semi-rare Ninetails! Others in the Chorale are competing to see who can get to the highest level. If anybody stops by Muskingum, there are also Pokéstops in Walter Hall, the bridge on the lake, and more! Pokémon Go has been a favorite pastime of many Chorale members this week.
After the delicious dinner of American foods, Josh D., a recent Otterbein graduate with a degree in music education, gave us a very informative lecture about proper vocal care practices, which should help us through the week! We often have 8 hours of singing per day. Later, it was time for our official Cardinal Chorale photoshoot, with a lot of smiling and making funny faces, in true Chorale spirit. The Choral Assistants immediately decided they wanted to make a traditional cheerleading pyramid for their picture, so of course they did. The Dorm Assistants, Opus Assistants, Blog Team, and sections all took group photos together. The sopranos chose a fierce pose, which quite well depicts their vocal sound. The altos posed together around a tree, the basses gathered around a large rock (on which stood Jonathan), and the tenors formed their own kickline. Look for those pictures soon!
Then we joined each other again for another rehearsal, touching up some new pieces and learning some new tunes, including a piece arranged just for the 22nd edition of the Cardinal Chorale by Patrick Sulken, who will be joining us tomorrow!
As the night drew to a close, we gathered together in our friendship circle. Many of us had thoughts to share about the day and meaningful compliments to give to other people. Mr. Snyder asked each of us to shake the hand of one person who made a difference in our day. Everyone was soon shaking the hands of many people. It turns out that even the smallest kind gestures to a person can really make a huge difference in how his or her day goes.
Back in the dorms, we socialized with each other for a little while, before we laid our heads on our pillows and crashed, for today was a long day. The good news is, we have many more long days to perfect the music and to continue building lifelong friendships.