I returned from a sabbatical in January, eager to dive back into the business of making music at Cornell. We gave a February concert in Sage Chapel entitled “Northern Lights” which featured music from Finland, Sweden and Norway. The men sang a Sibelius set, and the combined Chorus and Glee Club performed a work by the highly regarded Kaija Saariaho for Choir and tape…not easy stuff, believe me, but as usual the students rose to the occasion…but the bulk of the program was shouldered by the Chorus.
After that, we turned our attention towards tour which this year brought us to Virginia and North Carolina. This included a few collaborations and culminated with a women’s chorus festival hosted by Virginia Tech. I can honestly say that by the end of tour, the Chorus sounded as good as I’ve ever heard them in 15 years. They sang expressively and with superb intonation, blend and balance, and I came to that point once again of mixed pride and sadness. Now they have got it! Now they are really singing! And now the seniors are graduating, and we must start all over again.
It has been a short year for me, and I feel like I am just starting to get to know the new students. I want to keep going, but mercifully, the summer looms, and it is time to step back, take stock, and plan for a new semester.
Hope your summer is a great one. Stop by Ithaca and say hi if you have a chance.