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Chatham Central Chamber Singers earn excellent rating at contest

Posted Thursday, March 10, 2005

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The Chatham Central High School Chamber Singers recently traveled to Meredith College in Raleigh to perform at the North Carolina Large Ensemble Festival, a regional festival designed for high school choirs to perform for master adjudicators and receive ratings based on their performance. The Chamber Singers group is under the direction of CCHS choral director Nathan Street.

The Chamber Singers is a relatively new ensemble loosely organized during 2004 and fully implemented as a class at Chatham Central High School during the 2004-2005 year. The class is designed for students who have excelled in all other music classes and are ready for the rigors of advanced music instruction. The ensemble consists of 25 auditioned members who have also excelled in all other academic pursuits.

"I had some difficulty deciding what the ensemble would perform and would wear for the contest," stated Street, "We had rehearsed through several contest pieces and I could not settle on which two were most appropriate for this year." Street and the Chamber Singers finally settled on an early American round in four parts entitled "When Jesus Wept" by William Billings who is known as being one of America's original composers, and "Praise the Lord" from the oratorio, Judas Maccabeus by George Frederick Handel.

"Next came the problem of deciding on what to wear. I wanted the ensemble to look as formal as possible and remain uniform. It finally came to mind that we have a closet full of robes and it would be great for the students to wear the robes that were used by ensembles conducted by the great Polly Yow," said Street. The judges all commented on how wonderful it was to see a choir in robes once again. "The students were not exactly thrilled to wear the robes until they heard several comments on how wonderful they looked," said Street.

The Chamber Singers remained consistent in earning an excellent rating from the three judges. "I am so proud of the students and how the conducted themselves as professionals throughout the day. I am happy with the outcome; however, we have been so close to and are still searching for that elusive superior rating. We are working hard to get there," said Street.

The Chatham Central High School Choral Department will now travel with the band to Orlando, Florida, where the choral department scored a first place rating in their division last year. Good luck to these ensembles!

 
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