Renaissance Academy Students Perform with the National Honors Choir

Renaissance Academy Students Perform with the National Honors Choir
Posted on 03/29/2017
Picture of Aliyah Quill, Maribelle Buli & Tahlia Wilson-OsorioPhiladelphia, PA --- On March 22-25, 2017, three Renaissance Academy students, attended and performed at the 2017 Organization of American Kodaly Educators National Honors Choir (OAKE) Conference held in Philadelphia, PA. Earlier this year, freshman, Aliyah Quill along with 5th graders, Maribelle Buli and Tahlia Wilson-Osorio went through a challenging audition process to be selected for this distinguished choir.

While in at the conference, the RA choir members learned from world-renowned composers, Fred Meads (National Children’s Choir); Susan Glass (National Women’s Choir), attended musical workshops with their music director and fellow singers from around the country, and had the opportunity to tour historical Philadelphia. The choir members began practice at the conference on March 22 and continued practicing until their performance on Saturday, March 25 at the Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

Maribelle Buli said that her favorite part of the experience was actually practicing five hours a day. “We practiced three hours in the morning then 2 hours after lunch. I truly looked forward to singing and hanging out with new friends at each session.” Tahlia Wilson-Osorio said that, while the event was tiring, it was an experience she will remember for the rest of her life. “I really enjoyed working with our conductor who made it really fun to learn. All the people I met were so nice and I liked making new friends.”

About this achievement, Mrs. Eileen Keller, Renaissance Academy Lower School Choir Director said, “Singers were selected through a difficult audition process that included submitting vocal recordings that demonstrated sight-reading and high-level musicianship. I was thrilled that three of our singers were selected to participate in such an esteemed choir! I think that speaks to the special talents and training our students receive at Renaissance Academy and to the fact that the arts are valued at our school as well as supported by staff, parents, and community members.” Mrs. Keller, who attended the conference with her two 5th grade students, also conducted a presentation at the conference on incorporating anticipatory sets throughout a choral rehearsal. Her demonstration was presented through her other choral organization Kennett Symphony Children's Chorus.

After another audition process during the practice portion of the event, Aliyah Quill was chosen to perform solos during the concert. “Twenty-five singers auditioned for the solos. It felt truly amazing to be one of the four selected,” said Aliyah. “I felt that all the years of hard work paid off.” In addition to working outside of school through her own voice lessons, Aliyah also spent many hours of vocal training with Renaissance Academy Upper School Choir Director, Adrian Smith. Mrs. Smith, who attended the conference with Aliyah, said, “I am so proud of her accomplishments this year. Aliyah puts her all into every rehearsal and every song. She is always looking for ways to improve and grow in her vocal technique.”

The OAKE was founded in 1975 with a purpose to promote Kodály's concept of "Music for Everyone" through the improvement of music education in schools. Held in a different city each year, the National Conference brings together well-known clinicians, educators, conductors, and entertainment over the course of four days culminating in the Saturday performance of the students who have been selected to participate in the National Conference Choirs.