Singing Season Success

Friday, May 11, 2018 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20; Photo by Jim Ganley, Privett ‘34

Many people probably hear about the annual Brentwood rowing Regatta, and also know when it is time for AP Exams. They know about every ISAs, Islands, and Provincial tournament in sport, but little light is often shed on the busiest time of year for Brentwood’s music ensembles: festival season. 

The Brentwood Vocal Ensemble and Almost A Cappella vocal group travelled to Langley this past Thursday, May 3rd, to participate in the Kiwanis International Music Festival, where both groups received excellent results, as well as valuable  learning opportunities from the esteemed adjudicators Dr. Larry Nickel, and Gail Suderman. 

We departed the Brentwood gates, sleepy but excited, at 6:50 am, in order to catch the 8 am ferry from Swartz Bay. After grabbing a quick lunch on the other side, the groups returned to the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Campus Auditorium, where the festival was taking place. We then had the opportunity to watch the Holy Cross Regional High School’s grades 8 and 9 choir perform, and were thoroughly impressed. Following this, our Vocal Ensemble headed to the warm up room to prepare for our performance. 

This festival was the last of a busy and successful season for the Vocal Ensemble. Our festival repertoire for this year consisted of  “Down to the River to Pray”, “A Quiet Sea”, and “The Old Mill”, and we received a Bronze rating at this festival.  An impressive percentage of the singers in this group are new, and the year has been one of development in singing both unison and harmony, music theory, tone development, and much more. Lorenza U, Hope ‘20 spoke for the whole choir when she proudly said that “with every rehearsal, the group’s voices blend more..., and with every performance, our sound is more refined”. 

After the Vocal Ensemble’s performance and adjudication, the Almost A Cappella group performed their pieces: “Like I’m Gonna Lose you”, “A Thousand Years”, and a mash-up arrangement of “Lean on Me” and “Stand By Me”. This group is made up of five talented Grade 10 singers, and they focus mainly on musical independence and ear training. Similarly to their other festivals, adjudicator Gail Suderman was impressed by their performance, and awarded them a Gold rating. Furthemore, she requested that the group perform as special guests at the year end concert of her “Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir”. Hayley J, Hope ‘20, commented that the group was originally going to be a “one year thing”, but with all the amazing opportunities and feedback they are getting, they just “have to keep going”. “Just think of where this could take us?” she exclaimed, summing up the thoughts of the group, adjudicator, and director. 

Thank you to every member of Brentwood’s vocal ensembles, as well as the directors Phil Newns and Tristan Clausen, for making this singing season a success. 

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20; Photo by Jim Ganley, Privett ‘34 

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