Whitman High School (Bethesda, MD)

Mary and I had excellent clinics with four choirs from Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland today. Since this was such a big group, they decided to rent out Ingram Hall for the occasion. The best part about that was that each of the choirs got to watch each other get their instruction, creating a wonderful learning experience for everyone. 

Whitman singing a piece of my friend Tim Takach

I was thrilled to first work with their fine men's chorus, which comprised all of the men that were traveling with the high school. I particularly enjoyed their performance of 'Bright Morning Stars 'by Shawn Kirchner, a piece that I'll be doing for the Arkansas All-State male chorus later this year. The students saying with well produced tone, a beautiful mixture of head voice, and a great deal of intent. Perhaps my favorite part of the clinic was when we had a huddle and discussed the various risks that are involved with men singing in choirs, and how 'worth it' those risks truly are.

Perhaps my favorite part of the clinic was working with their chamber singers. The first piece, a Monteverdi canzone, presented a variety of challenges to the choir. Our first idea was to reduce the numbers so that we could hear the interplay of the voices more clearly. It was then that four intrepid singers stood up and sing with me as we sing the Canzone as a quintet. The realizations about the musical direction were immediate and obvious. The chamber singers then sang ‘A Boy and a Girl’ by Eric Whitacre, which was "an elegant solution.” Their energetic closer brought the clinic to a resounding close. There is definitely fine teaching going on by Jeff Davidson at Whitman High School! Congratulations!

© Tucker Biddlecombe 2016