At present, I am printing my concert program at home (don’t ask) and reflecting. Reflecting on the countless hours every one of my colleagues has spent preparing to bring their love for Choral Music to their communities. It’s insane! BUT…
Every one of those colleagues will tell you, first and foremost, they work with NICE KIDS…super people with whom they create music in rehearsals and in performance.
As a result, my program notes for Tuesday’s concert, “From the Director” reads as follows:
Good Evening and Welcome to the Winter Choral Concert!
I took a moment this crazy, busy season to sit and reflect on the journey that we’ve taken to bring our program to you tonight…
- The A Cappella Choir auditioned new members in June. At their first rehearsal, they were sent home with the December caroling repertoire for Summer Study. Section Leaders held weekly sectionals in their homes starting in September (Thank You, Host Families! Xo!).
- The Concert Choir and Chorale received their repertoire in September and have been preparing in class five days a week.
- We welcomed “Mr. A” (Ed Alstrom) into our Ridge Choral family as our new accompanist.
We created another Choral Community; a Family, if you will. Diverse, crazy, loving, kind, wacky, ambitious, passionate, cheerful, polite, beautiful, shy, well-behaved, goofy, curious, tolerant, open, honest and trusting. And what brought all of these young people together? OUR MUSIC! In every rehearsal, music was created and re-created while, simultaneously, community was built amidst laughter and jokes, frustration and grit, determination and a pursuit of excellence. The rehearsal space is safe. The rehearsal space is filled with opportunities for growth where every singer represents their family, their community, their culture and their commitment to the goal of making beautiful music together. The rehearsal space fosters new ideas, an understanding of others and ultimately, a sense of belonging.
These kids now spend much of their time in a virtual world, but the work that brought all of this to you tonight is real. Real people. Real music. Real emotions. Real feelings of joy and vitality and love. You’ll see it in their eyes and hear it in their songs.
Through this marvelous gift of music, each of us – singer, listener and conductor – will be touched and may be…changed. The power of a melody heard simultaneously, by many different listeners, will effect each soul in ways that are uniquely personal and intimate. GREAT IS THE POWER OF CHORAL MUSIC, which offers hope, healing and inspiration.
Our world needs more of what music has to offer. I have never doubted the importance of my role in bringing Choral Music into the lives of young people. Its reward has been one-thousand-fold.
Thanks for being with us tonight.
We are grateful.
Happiest of Holidays.
Barbara Retzko…a.k.a. RETZ…
(Excerpts from two letters by Dr. Lynne Gackle-ACDA President)
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Here’s to a restful, peaceful Holiday season for all.