Welcome to OUR NEW SEASON ON OUR NEW WEBSITE
We are so glad to be back in Choral Community.
The Minnesota Center Chorale has been awaiting this day since sometime in 2020, when we realized it might be a while before we could pull off these grand occasions with multiple choirs singing together. This past Sunday reminded us of what that feeling is like: HOME. Below is only part of the group that gathered for the return of the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota's A Choral Community. (This is the part that fit on stage. There were singers in the aisles as well! I think the official count was somewhere around 220!)
Just a part of the mass choir rehearsal.
I came to three realizations as we were gathered in the Blattner Energy Arts Theatre (BEAT) in Albany, MN. I know others in the Chorale feel likewise.
1. MUSIC IS UNITING
It was marvelous in the deepest sense to be able to sing, as well as to sit in the audience to listen to four other diverse choirs. The performances ranged from Irish and Scottish folk tunes through arrangements of U2 and Bob Dylan, with a bit of everything in between. The final mass choir piece, The Road Home by Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus, has been a comforting favorite of the MCC for years. On Sunday, though, it proved that you never sing the exact same work twice, as it swelled with more than 200 voices of many ages, backgrounds, timbres, and experiences to create a powerful, meaningful, rich performance. It had its own life for a few minutes, as we breathed in unison and took the audience on that road with us.
2. THE HARD WORK PAID OFF
It was extremely difficult to keep arts organizations alive, let alone thriving, during the pandemic years. The MCC has had to dig deep into energy, personnel, and financial stores to keep going through the years of being unable to rehearse, resuming rehearsals only to cancel and reschedule concerts, and not being able to say goodbye to longtime singers who just didn't feel they could return under adverse conditions. Singing in masks was better than nothing, but it was not our usual joyful collaboration. We had a great 50th Anniversary season last year, but this mass choir performance felt like we've finally arrived at a new normal. What a kickoff to season 51!
3. THE FUTURE IS IN GOOD HANDS
Watching the singers of the Albany High School Choir and the three choirs of the YCCM was a special blessing. These young people have an obvious love of choral music. They are learning how to work together, figuring out how different parts and pathways combine to make something bigger than themselves. They breathe and watch and listen and sing in a togetherness that they are discovering is its own kind of magic. In the process, experiences and scientific studies show that they are becoming more compassionate, more able to work with people different from themselves, and more dedicated in pursuit of a common goal. These young people assure us that the future is brighter than it sometimes seems. Even if they stop singing at some point, the lessons of ensemble music will stay with them. (We really hope they don't stop, though, as choir has benefits throughout life.)
MUSIC IS BACK
We hope you are as happy as we are for the return of live choral music. We're proud of our work to get to this point and are working diligently to get even better.
Let us know what you want to see!