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Flight complicates Seattle trip

Despite flight cancellations, campus choral groups flew to Seattle, WA, for their annual two-day spring trip, April 9. They attended and performed at the 2008 Heritage Music Festival and toured the city.

Drum major Alexandrah Aleman, a member of women?s chorale, concert choir and ensemble choir, competed against the other schools with her classmates.

?I have never competed with my friends from school, so I have never had to be dependent on them,? Aleman, ?10 said. ?Some of the choirs at the competition came with their bands, so they were competing in mass amounts.?

In addition to the performances, the musicians toured the city, starting underground.

?The most fun I had was on the underground tour of Seattle,? Aleman said. ?We learned a lot of off-the-wall facts about Seattle, like how it was built at sea level and how they used to only have one sewage system for the whole city.?

Choir students rode a ferry to the awards ceremony, where they met other choirs and formed relationships.

?We took a ferry ride to the awards dinner,? Aleman said. ?We met with choirs and bands from different states and made a lot of memories.?

Although director Aaron Bryan deems the venture a success, the trip almost did not happen. The airport cancelled their flight from San Jose, forcing Bryan to choose between sending 40 of the 62 students on another flight out of San Jose and the rest from Oakland or staying the night and leaving at 6 A.M., April 20.

Many of the chaperones and Bryan gathered for prayer support to make the best decision.

?The specific prayer request was this: God, this is not an emergency, it?s not a crisis, but it does not have to happen,? Bryan said. ?If there is any way that you can part the waters to allow this trip to proceed as planned, we ask for your hand in this situation.?

No more than five minutes later, Bryan received a phone call from the travel agent. She said the airline added a stop in San Jose to a flight with six people on board, allowing all the choral groups to travel together and on-schedule.

“It would have been a very difficult situation to deal with for me, as the director,” Bryan said. “My job on these trips is to ensure that all our students are safe and that the trip is an enjoyable experience.”

Due to a lack of participation in the competition, the choral groups moved from the small school division to the medium school division, which contained rival choirs tripling their size.

The choir performed eight songs. The ensemble choir sang ?Lux Arumque,? ?The Divine Image” and ?Rise Up My Love, My Fair One”; concert choir sang ?Celebrate the Music?, ?So We?ll Go No More A?roving? and ?My Spirit Sang All Day”; women?s chorale sang ?Seeds of Love? and ?Ave Verum.?

“We practiced these songs for about three months after the winter concert,” Lindsay Franz, ’09, said, “during every lunch and some night practices. We also practiced with the ensemble, which helped us feel more comfortably singing with the other (choral) groups.”

All the choral groups received gold ratings, the highest scores in their respective categories, first place awards in the medium school division and received positive feedback from the judges.

?We had just finished watching a performance when they started announcing the winners and their places,? Aleman said. ?I felt overjoyed and relieved when we placed first. I felt that through working hard, I accomplished my goal of growing as a musician.”

In addition to their success, the choral groups received an invitation to the Heritage Festival of Gold for the second time since the Colorado Springs Heritage Music Festival, April 27-30, 2006. Participants must earn a superior rating at the Heritage Music Festival to be invited. However, the choral groups will not attend the festival.

?Praise God for a wonderful trip and his constant guidance along the way,? Bryan said. ?Thank you to all the amazing chaperones who gave up their time and lost many hours of sleep in order to ensure that our students were safe. The trip was a success.?

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  • Y

    Yoko KilbourneApr 10, 2010 at 6:56 am

    It was truly amazing to see how Mike Ogdon, FCHS director of musical arts, brought together the JH choir, HS choir, Praisong, drama, band and color guard and some community musicians for a truly uplifting Angus Dei performance.

    Every section complimented each other and truly the whole was greater than the sums of parts. We sat in the sanctuary long after the performance was over enjoying the after glow and wanting the performance to start all over again. (BTW, our names are spelled Kilbourne, with an /e/ at the end. ;-))

    Yoko Kilbourne is the campus high school secretary.