Last week, nine TCS Voices singers spent two days at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) summer conference where they prepared, rehearsed and performed seven songs in Spivey Hall at Clayton State University as a part of the Treble Honor Choir. This is the fourth summer the ACDA has hosted a Treble Honor Choir.
Approximately 12 schools from around Georgia were represented. Each school could sponsor up to nine rising fifth – ninth graders. The nine TCS Voices choristers were chosen for their musicianship, choral experience, and professionalism.
“The children worked hard during two full days of rehearsing and got to experience an elite choral experience that they would not otherwise be a part of,” said TCS Music Teacher Michele Smith. “Some of our rising fifth graders were the youngest participants and enjoyed singing challenging three-part music with middle-school and almost-high-school singers from all over Georgia.”
One of the highlights of the experience were breaks and mealtimes when students played singing games with children from other schools.
The TCS singers rehearsed with Michele only three times leading up to the event because it is designed to challenge students to study the music independently. They received rehearsal tracks, a music packet, and a letter from the clinician.
The singers prepared seven songs for the two-day rehearsals and concert. One of the students’ favorites was a song called “Tottoyo,” which is a piece using a made-up language. The composer wrote it about a mother calling her children in from playtime. The children were having too much fun and didn’t want to come inside the house.
The closing piece was a patriotic tribute which included solos, flag holders, and banner wavers. There were some tearful audience members for this piece.
“It was such an amazing experience and truly beautiful performance,” said C.J. Czerniawski, parent to rising fifth grader, Casey. “ I can’t believe they did it all with such brief preparation!”
Choristers sang under the direction of the phenomenal Kimberly Davidson who started the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir 30 years ago.
“TCS allowed me to attend one of her rehearsals in Virginia last fall,” said Michele. “Ms. Davidson is someone I aspire to be like one day.”
Michele is a member of ACDA and the children’s choir chair for the Georgia chapter of ACDA. She played an integral role in leading the Treble Honor Choir.
“I hired the clinician and the accompanist. I sought out teachers to sponsor singers; communicated with other music teachers, chaperones and parents; was the liaison between Spivey Hall and the ACDA board; created the schedule, handled registration, and coordinated all the logistics for the two full days of rehearsals and the evening concert. It was a big job!,” said Michele.