As the Kathalmixw competition continues into the week, the Chamber Choir is rallying to face more and more difficult challenges with aplomb and, more importantly, an ever-increasing sense of community and support.
Wednesday was the main category of the competition here in Powell River, and our own set consisted of:
Christus Factus Est -Anton Bruckner
The Coolin -Samuel Barber
Hallelujah -Leonard Cohen, arr. Ethan Sperry
This set contained many technical and musical difficulties, but perhaps what would challenge most choirs is the depth of gestalt in the subject matter and aesthetic of each of these pieces. There is a level of vulnerability necessitated by every song, without which the choir would not have been able to transform itself into a vessel for communicating the music and the story that we so desperately wish to share.
None of us can presume to know how the judges felt about our performance (not that the fact has stopped any of us from trying), however, the general consensus is that we walked away feeling very proud of our product. Self-criticism is at once an invaluable tool and a slippery slope towards self doubt; hence, it will suffice to say that we, as a choir, have striven to be the best possible versions of ourselves in every moment, and those moments are something we can all hold onto in ways that extend beyond music and beyond this competition.
Oftentimes, we are met with many distractions along our journey that distract from the distilled, simple truth of why we are here: we are here to share music. Once we allow ourselves to see things simply, all the other unimportant things fall away and the music takes flight. We take flight…into unknown worlds.
Bass Section Leader
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Portland State Chamber Choir
PSU School of Music
1620 SW Park Ave, Lincoln Hall 231
Portland, OR 97201