Chambers Choir Sings with Chanticleer

Kristi Bui EE
Senior News Editor ‘16

On March 4, 2015, the students in the Honors Chambers class participated in the Chanticleer Choir Festival. The festival offered five high schools, all from different areas of Connecticut, the opportunity to sing, practice and perform with Grammy-award winning a capella group Chanticleer. Students spent the entire day working on improving important factors of singing such as breathing, warm ups, tone and dictation as well as perfecting both the pieces they performed solo and together with the other choirs.

The students went through vigorous prepping in order to prepare for the festival. Wanting to perform a diverse repertoire to the group and to other high schools, choir director Anne Tornillo spent roughly two months teaching the students Desh, Lux Aurumque, and Cantante Domino. The students not only had to work on accurate dictation, dynamics and tone quality, but also memorization. Junior Katherine Griffin found the piece Desh in particular to be one of the hardest pieces she has had to prepare for a choir.

“Desh was one of the hardest songs I’ve ever learned. The parts are incredibly intricate and difficult to master by themselves, but when combined it is a whole other monster,” said Griffin.

At the actual festival, the high schools worked on collaborating with each other on the group pieces as well as honing in and perfecting their individual pieces. After warming up with Chanticleer by doing a variety of singing and breathing exercises, the conjoined choir worked together to practice the pieces  Locus Iste and Keep Your Hand on the Plow. The latter song was a piece written for the Chanticleer group featuring five unique soloists from each of the schools participating in the event..

Later on in the day, each of the high schools had the chance to perform their own prepared pieces for the rest of the schools and Chanticleer. Trumbull performed the aforementioned pieces to the rest of the group, which, through all of their hard work and dedication, paid off for them.

“We knew our music well enough that when we got to Chanticleer they were able to not only be impressed by our technique, but offer critiques that are close to those that would be given to professionals,” Griffin recaps. Upon performing the pieces, the students participated in a clinic with members of Chanticleer, who helped them improve on things such as dictation, tone quality and embellishing and establishing the stylings of the pieces performed.

“It was honestly the best time I’ve ever spent outside of school. The best part is that [Chanticleer] is so humble and accommodating. Their voices are obviously beautiful as well.” said Chiaki Santiago. “All in all, I will never forget that night”


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