The end of the school year is here, and with it the close of the season for CCSA. This past year has been wonderful and we are immensely proud of the achievements of all our singers. Let’s take a quick look back at some highlights.
During the winter holidays, CCSA ensembles gave several performances with great success! Joined by families from Music Together, Prelude Choir, led by Rebecca Juarez, sang some of their favorite holiday tunes at the Holiday Sing-Along at Parman Public Library. This short concert was followed by fun activities for everyone to join in!
Junior Chorus, Neighborhood Choirs and, Youth Academy singers ended the year with Frost and Fire. This concert, held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, included guest director, Emily Ellsworth. Ms. Ellsworth is nationally recognized for her work with youth choirs and has served as Artistic Director of ANIMA—Young Singers of Greater Chicago since 1996. Frost and Fire included the first-ever Father’s Chorus made up of dads from both YA and JC performing Burstow’s Coventry Carol, along with YA Men. The audience, joined in with the Twelve Days of CCSA at the end of the concert!
Junior Chorus jumped in to the New Year with a performance at the Texas Music Educators Association conference held each year in San Antonio. This conference brings in thousands music educators from all over Texas, and beyond! Under the direction of Associate Director, Rebecca Morgan, JC performed as part of the Kodály Educators of Texas annual meeting. Works performed included Three Quotes by Mark Twain by Ramsey.
Youth Academy performed Live! At the Copa Havana! a collaborative concert with Doc Watkins and his Orchestra. This concert, performed at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, included music from Brazil and Cuba, and was enthusiastically embraced by everyone who attended. YA singers rose to the challenge the music presented and appreciated what they learned from Doc who worked with the group, alongside Associate Director, Rebecca Morgan. YA Women wore colorful scarves to celebrate the spirit of the show.
Each year CCSA and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio come together to perform in Violins and Voices, a joint concert held at University United Methodist Church on San Antonio’s northwest side. This year YOSA Philharmonic Chamber Strings performed Libertango by Piazzolla as part of their solo performance. Prelude Choir also took the stage at this concert. Accompanied by a YOSA violinist, they sang All the Pretty Horses arranged by Finley with Rebecca Juarez directing. Karli Anderson, Graduate Conducting Intern with CCSA, directed Junior Chorus as they performed The Earth is Our Mother, from Two Native American Songs by Sletto. Rebecca Morgan led all the ensembles, including YOSA instrumentalists, together in Shine on Me arranged by Dilworth. Parents, friends, and members of the community warmly showed their appreciation at the end of the concert with applause and hugs for singers.
Growth at CCSA means greater opportunities for singers. This season, Youth Academy Men participated in extra performances including the Choral Union performance at Trinity University. An annual concert, the Choral Union is made up of Trinity alumni, faculty, staff, and community members to perform a major work with one of Trinity’s instrumental ensembles. This year, YA Men performed Gospel Mass by Robert Ray, and Songs and Sonnets by George Shearing with the Choral Union.
All Youth Academy singers had an additional performance and the chance to meet, and sing with, the Wartburg Choir as part of that group’s annual touring schedule. The Wartburg Choir is made up of singers from all disciplines at Wartburg College in Iowa and performs sacred works from all historical periods, as well as contemporary music.
CCSA believes that music encourages the creativity of youth in San Antonio and contributes to their development as engaged and responsible citizens. In order to provide access for every child who has the desire to sing, CCSA has developed Neighborhood Choirs, a series of ensembles designed to reside where the singers are, in their own neighborhood! Singers in NC groups perform along with Junior Chorus at two performances each year. In addition, NC comes together to perform for family, friends, and their community once a season at Our Lady of the Lake University. This year, led by Crystal Tamaren and Antoinette Harris, NC performed Shine on Me arranged by Dilworth, and Shake the Papaya Down arranged by Leck.
The final concert of the year included all CCSA ensembles: Prelude Choir, Junior Chorus and Neighborhood Choirs, and Youth Academy. This concert, performed on Mother’s Day, was held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Guest conductor, Dr. Gary Seighman, Director of Choral Activities at Trinity University, directed with YA singers, and a photo slide show, featuring photos contributed by CCSA families, gave homage to grandmothers and mothers throughout the generations of each singer’s family. This concert included the first Mother’s Chorus, made of CCSA moms and daughters, who performed For the Beauty of the Earth by Rutter.