Saturday, July 08, 2017

International Children's Choir

When we first moved to Salt Lake, I was, frankly, bored.  (Hard to imagine, I know.)  As the kids had no extra-curriculars, I looked into a choir for Brooklyn and Eli since Talia was planning on doing gymnastics.  Google clued me into Salt Lake's International Children's Choir.  I called the conductor, Dr. Sorenson, and found out that their first rehearsal was taking place that very day.  I picked the kids up from school and told them that we were on our way to an audition if they wanted.  While the unprepped audition may have been a bit of a disaster (Eli couldn't remember the words to Happy Birthday), the choir was a much greater success.  It's been a major part of our lives ever since.

As you can tell from the pictures, the children dress in costumes from countries from all around the world.  They sing in a myriad of different languages, regularly performing for ambassadors and dignitaries.  It's fairly intense, particularly the first year when you have so much new music to learn.  Fortunately, the kids enjoyed it, particularly Brooklyn who jumped right in as an alto.

Brooklyn's elegant costume is from Russia.  Eli's adorable costume comes from Poland.  This picture was taken before their first performance for the United Nations of Utah.

Most of the time the choir performs from the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  It's quite a view up there!

Here they are singing at the World Parliament on Spirituality.

Occasionally Brooklyn would introduce the choir in Spanish and get to wear a different costume.  Here she in a Peruvian outfit since she was welcoming the First Lady of Peru.

Love the hat!

Eli, your hat is adorable too.

A picture of the choir with Peru's First Lady (who ironically enough happens to be American.)  Brooklyn is holding the flag to the right while Eli is in blue up front.

Brooklyn's holding Paraguay's flag in this photo.

And here she is with a Kenyan flag in African garb.

Eli's claim to fame is the fishing pole he's holding in this pic.  His job is to look cute fishing for crawdads as they sing "Crawdad Hole."  He also gets to spin around like a top when they sing about a dreidl.

I know I'm biased, but I think he does a pretty great job with that whole cuteness factor thing.

A close up of a few of the choir members.

Here's the choir singing for the World Parliament on Spirituality at Kingsbury Hall, just a half mile from our house.

Every year around Christmas they perform for the General Authorities' wives.

Brooklyn was pretty excited to participate in a recording session for a kids' commercial jingle.

Since this year was the choir's 25th Anniversary, they hired  a professional photographer to celebrate the occasion.  Trying to get this many kids in costume organized was quite the ordeal!

Almost there.

The final product.
Their final concert was at the Assembly Hall at Temple Square.  I have to admit, it was pretty stressful leading up to the concert as we struggled to get all of their music passed off in time.  I ended up making a practice CD for Eli so that we could work on his parts while driving in the car.  Ultimately, the hard work paid off.  The performance was lovely--an accomplishment they could really feel proud of.  Tears welled in my eyes as I listened to them sing, particularly as I pondered the cultural appreciation they are gaining at such a tender age.  Our world needs more of this.  

 Despite the positive finale, Eli's not sure he wants to sing again next year.  He says he wants more time at home to be with his family.  I'm glad he likes being with us but sad about him giving up choir too.  Ultimately the choice is his, and we will respect it.  Brooklyn, on the other hand, is more committed than ever.  I think choir will continue to provide great opportunities for her to learn, lead, and grow.  Since their former cellist just graduated, who knows?  It might even provide some good incentive to practice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard this wonderful choir perform a splendid Thanksgiving concert last fall. It included beautiful music, as well as colorful costumes.