On November 9, 2010 the University of Maryland invited a student choir from SBCS to perform at the Hippodrome Theater, Baltimore’s premier theatrical venue. The choir was asked to sing for the inauguration of the university’s new president, Dr. Jay Perman. With all of the excitement of starting the school year in our new building, we had not yet formed a choir, so the invitation gave us the perfect excuse to do so!
The choir met for 5 days during morning meeting time to rehearse the two songs we were going to perform: “Beautiful City” from “Godspell” and “Seize the Day” from “Newsies”. From the very first rehearsal, it was obvious that the choir was going to be good. The students sounded great and the energy they brought to the music was perfect for the event.
Finally, the big day came. Everyone got to school on time and we had a few minutes to rehearse in the auditorium before going outside to wait for the bus to arrive. When the appointed time arrived, the bus was nowhere to be found! Five minutes passed...then ten...finally, fifteen minutes after the bus was supposed to have picked us up, we were able to figure out what the problem was. The bus had in fact arrived on time, but they were waiting patiently on South Schroeder St. in front of our old school at James McHenry wondering why we were so late! Once we gave them the correct address, they arrived promptly and, despite the delay, we got to the Hippodrome on time.
We were escorted directly to the stage where we had a chance to rehearse, and then went down to our green room where the real fun began. The first thing that we saw upon entering our waiting room was the huge spread of food that the University had laid out for us. There were muffins, fruit snacks, crackers, juice boxes and even coloring books, crayons and bottles of bubbles! The snacks were arranged so perfectly that the students were sure that it must have been set up for someone else. It took a little convincing on the part of the University staff to convince them that they could, in fact, eat the muffins!
After about 2 hours of waiting, we were finally called up to the stage to perform. We were the last act on the program. The students walked on the stage like they owned it and lined up perfectly. I, on the other hand, had hands that were shaking over the piano keys before I played the first chord! As soon as the choir began to sing, though, it was clear that they were going to be a hit. Ms. Erika said that she cried through the whole performance, and all of the parents in the audience said that we were great. After the singing was done, we received a standing ovation and many of the university faculty in attendance came into our dressing room and said that the students’ singing was the highlight of the ceremony!
The day was perfect, and the University is excited to have the SBCS Choir come and sing for other events throughout the year. When the second trimester begins, we will hold open auditions for students who would like to join the choir. We hope to build our choir program and continue our partnership with the University of Maryland to give our students more amazing performances in the future.