By Kyra W.
This fall, Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa went to Bonnenfant Y Camp. This trip was very worthwhile to new choristers like myself, because it gave us a chance to make new friends, and to learn and rehearse more music than we do at regular rehearsals.
During the first part of rehearsal, we started learning The Virgin Mary to the Christ Child by Elise Letourneau. It had thirteen movements, but all of them are very beautiful. We also went outside and took pictures. Then we had lunch and practiced even more music.
This trip wasn’t all just practicing and learning music, we also learned a little Inuktitut song and hand game. It was fun playing it outside in the sunshine.
After supper, we rehearsed even more music. We started one of Laura’s many pieces, Christmas Snowflakes, and we also started Hodie Christus Natus Est by Michael Bedford. We practiced it by throwing a ball to a partner when it was their turn to sing. It was kind of chaotic, but it was very fun.
After the evening rehearsal we played games that some of the girls learned from going to Iqaluit, and they told us what it was like going there. After that, we ate snacks, and we each made a square for our paper quilt. On our square, we each wrote one of our strengths. Once it was together, it was very encouraging.
At the end of the retreat, we went outside to sing one of the songs that Laura composed, The Arrow and the Song, and under a simple pavilion, with the rain pattering on the roof, we sang it. At the end, Jackie was crying because we sang it so beautifully, even though it wasn’t perfect.
One of the many things that I learned during this retreat was that all of the choristers are kind, helpful, supportive, friendly people. I’m glad that I went, because I would’ve had to catch up and learn lots of music by myself. I enjoyed the trip to Bonnenfant Y Camp, and I hope that we’ll go again next year.