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Festival 500, 2009 edition

From July 5 to 12, I participated in the 2009 edition of the biennial Festival 500 - Sharing the Voices with Newman Sound.

We sang four times as part of the Festival:

  • Monday afternoon at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (The Kirk);
  • Wednesday afternoon at Government House for the Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable John C. Crosbie;
  • Thursday night in our own concert (the evening being shared with the University of Redlands Madrigals Choir); and
  • in the Grand Finale concert on Sunday night, as part of the "adult project" massed choir.

The Wednesday performance was by the 13 or 14 members of our 35-member group that could take the time off work. It was particularly exciting because we were one of only two choirs invited - the other being Club For Five, the invited professional guests! It went so well that Mr. Crosbie requested that we perform at another event the following Monday involving a diplomatic delegation from China. Unfortunately I was traveling on business. Cry

The highlight of the Sunday performance was excerpts from Verdi's Requiem - Dies Irae (first part), Sanctus and Libera Me. The Festival is structured in such a way that each member of the massed choir has 5 three-hour rehearsals during the week, including the dress rehearsal. The group of a few hundred singers basically starts from scratch learning to perform the rep, and each of the six times I have been involved the resulting performance has been excellent.

My wife and I also hosted two members of the Redlands Madrigals Choir, which was a first for us. (Hi Brian and Julio!) It was a bit of extra work during an already busy time, but on the whole it was really smooth. Thanks guys.