I had a really wonderful experience this last weekend. I was invited by Carol Stenson from South Salem High School to visit and give a clinic to her choir. They were singing “Everyone Sang” getting ready for State and wanted my help in performing it. One of my friends from Portland told me that this high school was well known in the area for its choir. Fly to Oregon and work with a great high school choir on “Everyone Sang?” Yes please!
I love Oregon, but had only been to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival and hadn’t been to Portland or Salem. Driving through the area reminded me a lot of Ireland and took me back there instantly. The green, the weather, the scenery, the hills and the Portland waterfront; It all brought back great memories.
As far as the actual workshop/clinic is concerned, I had a BLAST! To be honest, it was my first clinic so I was nervous and not sure how it would turn out, but Carol Stenson was such a gracious host and very welcoming. The students were well-prepared, flexible, and very willing to work. They were all engaged, bright-eyed, and hard-working. Every time I challenged them, they answered back with lots of energy and excitement. We worked on “Everyone Sang” for almost two hours and didn’t even feel fatigued. Such exciting work!
After lunch we worked on “Os justi” by Anton Bruckner. That was exciting! We got to talk about Bruckner, his life and music, the Cecilian Society, the mode, the golden mean, as well as the meaning behind the text. It was greatly rewarding to work on such incredible music with this choir!
Incredibly grateful for this experience and wish South Salem High the best of luck at State very soon! My only complaint is that it was much too short.