On Thursday night Crystal Children's Choir and Incheon City Chorale gave amazing performances. Crystal Children's Choir, led by Jenny Chiang and Karl Chang and based in San Francisco, performs Chinese folk music with amazing flair. Dressed in traditional costumes (with many different regional costumes sprinkled about the choir, meaning there is not one uniform), their repertoire spans all provinces of China(and there was even a very entertaining Mongolian song included). The group uses a lot of choreography, all of which is very natural and is highly effective. What a great, entertaining group of hard-working, artistic young women! Much of this music was in 3-4 parts and beyond; I was very impressed with their dedication to their art.
Next was Incheon City Chorale, and the anticipation in the venue was electric. They began with Hyo-Won Woo's Me Na Ri, the same piece they opened their ACDA national program with last year. For anyone who had not seen them in OK City, this was, I am sure, breathtaking. They sang other music that had been done in OK City plus a new piece by Hyo-won Woo, a very special setting of O Magnum Mysterium, which began with a very misterioso (yeah, that's the idea, of course!) low rumble in the basses (low D-low C?). I was amazed by the piece and really need to hear it again to really describe it well.
ICC then also blew people away with their amazing sonic excellence, their expressiveness and joy, and their variety of music styles, including simple traditional Korean folk songs with choreography, their famous costume changes, and so on. Not far into the program, there were pockets of HS or college students giving standing "O's" to each piece, such was the effect on the audience. The program had to come to an end, of course, but I think the audience would have kept listening forever!
Afterward I rode back on the ICC bus and Hak-won and the very talented Korean composers Hyo-Won Woo, Ji-hoon Park, and Il-Joo Lee and I shot the breeze for at least two hours(in English, for my sake!). We talked about lots of things and had a really good time. They then were headed to San Diego for one last US appearance. It felt really good to see all my Korean friends again.
PLUS The enthusiasm of everyone in the audience on Thursday night
MINUS Nothing...everyone in the choral world assembled in Tucson was a happy camper!
To the readers
6 years ago