If you are like me, when you come upon a group of teenagers all huddled around a phone, your first thought are rarely good ones...Are they wasting time viewing some viral prank video on YouTube? A questionable social media post? An embarassing SnapChat thread?
Thankfully, the attached picture is of a gathering about as far as anyone can get from any the situations described above. The photo is of our CANTABILE Choir members in rehearsal on Tuesday evening listening to feedback from the composer of one of their pieces. Ron Burrichter, a voice professor and choral director from Florida, gave a glowing review of the group's performance of his arrangement of the American folk hymn "We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace." Following their performance and his assessment, he talked through his compositional process, his inspiration in writing the song, and why he composes in the manner he does. After the nearly 20-minute exchange, the boys exclaimed proudly, "That was SO cool!" and "I can't believe we got to do that!," all the while exchanging smiled and high-fives.
Moments like this remind me of both the special nature and the intense need for programs like the Chattanooga Boys Choir in our community. To engage our singers in special and meaningful ways provides them the opportunity to know their subject matter, their art, and even themselves at a deeper and more significant level. It's one thing to sing a choral composition and quite another to explore it through the eyes and ears of the composer, while learning of its genesis and being a part of bringing the piece to fruition.
Thank you for providing the inspiration and ability to make special opportunities like this possible. These boys will never forget this experience, and I will never forget how wonderful it is to be a part of their journey.