By Anna C.
This year, the Cantiamo Training Choir’s Christmas Concert was on December 7th at St. Augustine Parish. We worked with the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Young Voices choir led by Patricia Kaiser and we performed together. The most exciting part of the concert for me was the start, when the Training Choir snuck up to the balcony at the back of the Church. The Church was nearly full and no one seemed to notice us at the back until we started singing Hodie Christus Natus Est. We echoed the Young Voices Choir over and over for the whole song.
I asked some of the choristers from both choirs about their favorite songs from the concert. Avery M. from Young Voices said that she particularly liked Do You Hear What I Hear, while Anna D. and Helen M. from Cantiamo loved Let’s Hear It For Mrs. Claus. “I liked it because it supports women power! I really enjoyed the dance moves and how it was unique comapred to other songs in the concert,” said Helen.
Jackie, our conductor said that we presented ourselves with poise and confidence at our concert with the Catholic school board Young Voices Choir. “Choristers sang their songs with open hearts and full voices and I hope they all felt proud of themselves! It is extra special to be able to make music with new friends and the sound of Training Choir and Young Voices together was festive and joyful! A big thank you to our Cantiamo mentors for being there to support the Training Choir choristers and share their love of singing!”
We prepared for this concert on our own but we also had a joint rehearsal a few days before the concert. It is interesting to practice with another choir because the sound is a lot bigger and louder. One of our songs, the First Noel, arranged by Michael Clawson, has a part for the Pachabel’s Cannon to be played in the background. Jackie Hawley, our Director, said that she could not find any pianist with four hands, so she needed both accompanists, one from each choir, to play the piano together and practice doing it a bit at the rehearsal. It was beautiful because there were so many notes being played at the same time by Laura Hawley, our accompanist, and Liliane Lalonde-McKennirey, the accompanist for the Young Voices Choir.
When I asked her about the benefits of collaborating with another choir Patricia Kaiser, the conductor of Young Voices said, “In addition to hearing and seeing the example of other similar choirs, it gives the choristers a chance to work with other conductors, to meet and join with other children who share the same love of music, and to sing in a massed choir setting where so many voices come together as one! It’s an experience to remember.”
One of the Cantiamo choristers, Helen, agreed and said “I enjoy having different conductors and I think it’s good to get used to different styles of conducting and hearing other voices from another choir.” Anna said she enjoyed singing with the other choir because of all the different voices.
At the end of the concert, Jackie said that she wishes that children could sing every day. “I like making lots of different voices and like how musical they sound,” said Anna. Helen said she likes to be able to learn about music and how to sing with lots of other people. As for me, singing makes me happy.