Spring Choral Takes Audience on Multicultural Journey

By Kyla Baptiste ‘19 and Maddie Paterna ’19

The annual Evenings of Song Spring Choral concert brightened up the auditorium as a lively end to the year performance. The Choirs were led by Ms Naomi O’Reilly on Wednesday, May 23 and Ms Anne Casalta on Thursday, May 24.

Starting off with the National Anthem sung by Ms. Casalta, the Thursday performance captivated the crowd. The first to sing was Chorus 1 Period 2 with their song “Tongo”. The sounds of the shaker, conga, and djembe, all instruments originating from Africa, gave the song a cultural touch and told a story as the chorus was singing.

“Tongo”, which means mangrove, is a traditional canoe song from the Solomon Islands in Polynesia. It’s echo format of non-translatable sounds is meant to illustrate people communicating from canoe to canoe as they travel between islands.

Chorus 1 Period 6 blew the crowd away with  See You Again by Charlie Puth. Guest Pianist Demir Mcrae, Alumnus Class of 2017, came with his skills to elevate the chorus performance along with their other song, “Aihrang”, a Korean folk song, sometimes considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea.

Soloist Braden Richardson ’20 had some powerful vocals for his speaking part of  See You Again, and the crowd was in awe.

“I thought it was hilarious, and it made the overall song,” said Genesi Almonte ’19, who was part of the NYSSMA chorus. “Since See You Again is a sad song, it gave it a happier feel.”

Following Chorus 1 was Chorus 2, which sang Believer, also with an uplifting vibe.

“I thought it was really well put together, and they did a great job,” Betty Wu ’18 said. “I think both chori were  really good.”

The songs they chose were fun and catchy, yet they also conveyed the message to make the pain in your life your greatest strength.

Both Chori worked hard on their performances, and their hard work definitely paid off.

“We practiced songs ahead of time,” said Leani Miller ’20, who was in the chorus. “We spent 20-30 minutes every day to make sure we were all in harmony.”

The NYSSMA Choir sang Espiritu De Dios, meaning ‘Spirit of God’ in Spanish. The chorus sang beautifully with highs and lows corresponding together in sync.

“The  NYSSMA chorus was honestly amazing, and I’m so proud of the people who participated in it,” Ryan Channer ’19 said. “I enjoyed myself throughout the show.”

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