Two nights worthy of omnipotent ovations

In the end, the practice paid off. . . the blue blur in the upper left hand side is the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus onstage with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus during the Carmina Burana performance Carmina_burana_grant_park_symphony_glen__1on July 19

One of my more intriguing assignments this summer was to accompany the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus to their rehearsal at the Chicago Cultural Center with Christopher Bell, conductor of the Grant Park Symphony Chorus in preparation for their participation in the performance of Carmina Burana with the Grant Park Symphony in Millennium Park.

Leave it to my son Warren to ask the maestro about enunciation. How fearless is this kid I wondered? That question was answered after his two performances onstage. A member of the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus concert choir since January, Warren’s got to perform at some noteworthy gigs that even professional singers would envy.

Here’s a place where an 11 year old can sit on stage as a member of a world-class choir, look out at crowd of thousands and sing with confidence. So, how nervous was he? Not at all. Who would be after all that practice and preparation? [Hey, there’s a lesson there!]

Seeing the chorus on stage was magical, but the most memorable moment was when we came home and Warren reprised the chorus in Latin just for me. Thanks and congratulations to conductor Emily Ellsworth for her contribution to another stunningly successful evening for the chorus and those of us who get to tuck the singers in at night.

Here’s how the critics saw it. . . From Michael Cameron’s July 21, 2006 Chicago Tribune review . . . “Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus matched their elders’ acumen note for note. . . . the damp but contented throngs gave Bell and the GPO (Grant Park Orchestra) one of the noisiest ovations of the summer, and deservedly so.”

From Dorothy Andries’ July 21, 2006 Chicago Sun-Times review . . . “The night, however, belonged to the choruses. Every time the Glen Ellyn youngsters sang, the stage lit up. It was certainly due to the contrast with adult voices, but also the clarity and verve with which the children sang. They sounded like a polished ensemble. Credit must go to their artistic director Emily Ellsworth, but also to the young singers themselves, whose fresh, focused voices contributed to the beauty of the performance.”

Into acoustics? Here’s a page that describes the set up. 

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