Thomas Jefferson

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Singing to Success

Posted 06/01/2017 by Madeleine Abram

Advanced Choir and Monticello Choir members concluded their annual competition on a high note. photo by Mia Grijalva

TJ choirs concluded the school year by singing in the Cavalcade of Music competition in Colorado Springs.

On May 12, 2017, Advanced Choir and Monticello embarked on a journey to the Cavalcade of Music competition in Colorado Springs for the opportunity to compete amongst experienced choirs belonging to various states including Colorado, Texas, and Kansas.

Advanced Choir and Monticello are TJ’s two auditioned choirs. Throughout the school year, the two choirs have been collaborating on an abundance of pieces in preparation for this festival. The combined choirs performed three songs: “Twa Tanbou,” a Haitian Creole French piece, “Jesu Dulcis Memoria,” a Latin hymn, and “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye,” an Irish folk song. Additionally, Monticello, TJ’s honors choir, competed separately in the Madrigal or Chamber Choir division. Monticello performed three songs as well: “Daemon Irrepit Callidus,” a high-speed Latin piece about demons, “I Love my Love,” a classical love song about a sailor’s love, Nancy, who was banished to Bedlam, and “Sambalele,” an upbeat Brazilian folk song. Senior Olivia Palizzi stated, “I thought that all of our songs were super fun. It was great to be able to improve upon songs from as early as the beginning of the year.”

Although results are still pending as to how the choirs placed, TJ choir director Tambyr Reed explained, “The choirs did really well, especially considering how tough the literature was.” Despite not knowing their overall ranking, the choirs did in fact take home two trophies: one for the mixed choir (Advanced and Monticello) and one for just Monticello. For each performance, judges rank the choirs on a five point scale ranging from Novice to Superior. Both Advanced and Monticello received an Excellent rating, which is the second highest rating a choral group can receive.

In addition to the competition, TJ choirs were faced with several other memorable opportunities during the trip including access to the Great Wolf Lodge, the massive water park within the lodge, and several different restaurants. “The water park was super fun,” Palizzi said, “It was an awesome bonding experience for the whole choir and I feel like I got to know more people as more than just classmates…We are all basically a family.”

Next year, Reed hopes to initiate a trip to Hawaii for Monticello to participate in a music festival at Pearl Harbor. In order to fundraise for the festival, TJ choir will be selling coffee once a week in the mornings as well as putting on a variety of other fundraisers to help Monticello make their way to Hawaii for the festival. Reed went on to say “We need all the support we can get for next year, so we encourage everyone to get involved in the upcoming fundraisers and stay tuned about other ways to help.”