So, I was a junior in high-school during 2011. Although 2011 was a year of regrets and mistakes that I made as a stupid 17 year old girl, I would describe 2011 being the year that my life was mainly Performing Choir.
I was put into Performing Choir for a second year. With the major success the previous year of PC was, it became a choir that a lot of people wanted to be a part of. The previous year of Performing Choir consist of mostly seniors, and once they graduated, the question of who was going to be the next Performing Choir roamed through every single vocal major’s mind. I was grateful to be a part of such an amazing choir for another year, and I was really grateful to be more involved in the choir, whether it was helping my fellow Second-Sopranos with music, or getting minor solos in the bigger choral pieces.
If you will like to hear what Performing Choir was like in 2011, here are a few links to videos that depict just the many places that we performed and all the songs we did during this time period. (Remember, this was 2011, and video quality was still shitty…)
- “Set Me As A Seal” performed at Ms. Covington’s Church.
- “Oh Mary” performed during the Winter Concert at Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
- “Mass in B minor: Gloria in excelsis” performed at a Church located in The Bronx.
- “Wade in the Water” performed during the Winter Concert at Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
Despite these little clips that do absolutely no justice to the real thing, we also performed at places such as Carnegie Hall, The Capital at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month, received Gold for the NYSSMA competition after singing two Level 6 songs (the highest difficulty), and at the Bronx Zoo as the musical guests for a competition.
My personal favorite throughout the entirety of 2011: the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble Competition in Bishop Loughlin High School located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Weeks prior to this day in March, we prepared for this competition. Our vocal teacher, Mr. Williams, tried rearranging various choir members in little groups of 8, singing various songs that we knew. I remember being pulled in and out of various groups and feeling slightly discouraged that I wasn’t good enough to compete. Finally, I was put into the group that was going to sing PC’s infamous song to sing, “Lift Every Voice & Sing”. To this day, I still know all of the parts of each voice present. I was selected to sing the second-soprano section of the song, and we were one of the first to actually perform. I thought we did pretty well, but I never thought that I would be sitting in the audience, thinking the ensemble I was a part of, would win first place.
When they announced that my ensemble had won the competition, I literally cried tears. I never felt like I was good enough in these group of people because they were all so much more talented than me, and to be a part of the winning ensemble, I really felt so good.
We literally walked from the high-school back to Downtown Brooklyn dancing and singing these different songs, and of course – the winning song.
Like I mentioned in my 2012 #TBT post, Performing Choir was really the only good thing I would relive high school for (besides meeting Obie in 2009). I traveled to so many different parts of NYC and rehearsed so many hours these different shows that I don’t think that I ever missed one. You would think that performing at Carnegie Hall would’ve been my favorite memory, and it’s one of them. Carnegie Hall was such an amazing experience because I know that it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I got the pleasure to do it for two years in a row. To rehearse in the city, on the Carnegie Hall stage… seriously so breathtaking.
Sometimes, I feel like I took advantage of my time in PC, but I think everyone did. We all look back now and see the hard work and dedication being a part of this and what our vocal teacher put into this group and the rest of the vocal program.
A former choir member, Jade Ashley, dedicated her senior project, “In Music I Trust” towards documenting the journey that the vocal program went through in Mr. William’s guidance. I was very lucky to be a part of the interview process with my best friend where Performing Choir was the place we both officially met! Such a beautiful depiction of what our vocal teacher created in his four years in Brooklyn High School of the Arts, and I believe 2011 was the peak of its success.
Our legacy still lives on in room B25. It will forever be.