Tower Singers and MastersSingers Hit High Note With Carmina Burana Performance
A weekend storm and freezing temperatures didn’t stop two Masters School choirs from heading to Bronxville, New York, on Sunday, January 20, to perform with the Hudson Valley Singers and New York Metamorphoses Ensemble at Concordia College.
Members of Tower Singers, the Upper School advanced classical choir, and MastersSingers, the Middle School select choir, partnered with the musicians to perform Carmina Burana. The scenic cantata, written by Carl Orff, is based on a series of medieval poems and is often quoted in or provides inspiration for film scores and commercials.
The School’s groups sang the Ragazzi — or children’s chorus — role, alongside professional soprano, baritone and tenor soloists; two pianos; and two percussionists. The result was “loud, dramatic and exciting,” said Jennifer Carnevale, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts, who guided the students in their preparation for the performance.
Carmina Burana is performed in medieval German and Germanic Latin, which “was difficult even for those who study Latin,” said Carnevale. Students put in hours of rehearsal time on and off campus, and received valuable guidance from conductor Eugene Sirotkine. “Sirotkine … is a wonderful musician and teacher,” noted Carnevale. “He spent time working with the students and was exceedingly supportive and challenging in equal measure.”
The performance was a valuable showcase of the students’ vocal skills, giving them the opportunity to showcase their choir work among a group of equally talented adult musicians.