Eight students from the Chamber choir ensemble joined over 200 other high school students to learn and perform at the Clearwater chorale music festival.
Saturday, October 21, over 200 individuals attended this event, from 25 different high schools across the state. Students learned four different pieces during the day with UWEC’s collegiate professors. At 7 p.m. they performed at the brand new Pablo Center at the Confluence in downtown Eau Claire.
“My favorite part today I think was going with a bunch of other students don’t know, kind of getting to hear other different people’s voices and how they’re different to yours,” said sophomore Hayley Klein.
It is very different for students to sing with people that they do not know. Especially in a large group. Performers put a lot of thought in learning how to match the voices around them in a choir. The male students were excited for the opportunity to sing with their own section of tenors and basses for a change.
“It was definitely better to sing with other guys, rather than just always singing with girls. I got to experience singing with my own section instead of switching the octave of a woman’s part,” said junior Eric Wojtalewicz.
Students thought that the experience was so fun that the three agreed they would want to continue with music through high school and get involved with it in college even if it isn’t a part of their majors. Junior Carolynn Nelson enjoyed the way the directors taught. It was a new and different pace.
“So far, my favorite part has been the teaching style when it comes to learning brand new music,” Nelson said. “The directors just teach with so much energy and emphasis, it’s easy to get into what we are doing.”
The other thing that was exciting for attendees, in addition to the directors was all of the students who were there wanted to be there and wanted to sing. A different environment than the highschool atmosphere. People were unashamed of what they were doing, so they were able to create a beautiful sound.
“I was excited to come because I have never been to a choir festival before, especially one that is more advanced in difficulty. Also all the people here really wanted to sing. Rather than sometimes choosing not to participate. That was really fun,” said Klein.
There was something at the festival for everyone. Various pieces of combined chorale music, students were also exposed to singing in all women’s and all men’s choirs. Different from the normal mixed ensembles everyone was used to. Students agreed that this opportunity was great to get a feel of the other choral options there are.
“I really liked Truth. The all women’s ensemble piece. It was fairly easy to learn, and it had a great message for women and just people in general. That you are beautiful and should believe the truth in that,” said Nelson.
It was a successful music festival by all means. Students got exposed to many different aspects of chorale music that they hadn’t experienced yet. Better preparing them for what they might want to get involved with in the future.
“It is so important for students to be exposed to things like this so they can get a feel for how different chorales work in college. There is so much out there for kids to learn, and using this experience to help find our great music department is what we want to do,” said Samuel Clemmons, UWEC music major.