The CSO chorus humbles me as a musician. They are so disciplined and full of musical and technical vigor that it embarrasses me that they do it for free.
This weekend's concerts featured Chas Wetherbee playing the ethereal Lark Ascending of Vaughn Williams, with Ronald Jenkins conducting, and four excellent solo singers. But the real star of the show was the chorus.
I didn't play the Hadyn Lord Nelson Mass, so I heard it from back stage. I could barely hear the orchestra, but the chorus came through loud and clear through the shell. (The chorus is packed up against the back of the stage, so they were closest to me backstage)
Throughout the piece, the CSO Chorus stayed at the front end of the beat, leading the rhythm forward, as they should. Their energy never ceased, their dynamics were always rich and varied. I've always known they were good, but I wanted to note it here for the record.
Of course, any mention of the chorus's quality cannot be complete without mention of Ronald Jenkins, who for years has maintained and developed this world class group. In this concert, Ron was chorus master and conductor, and he succeeded in both commendably.
Although the Haydn would have been plenty of singing to satisfy anyone, the program included three other gorgeous works with chorus: Britten's The Building of the House, Vaughn Williams' Serenade to Music and as an encore, Copland's The Promise Land. Their focus never let down. The music making was full of passion to the last note!
Thank you CSO Chorus, for your years of high quality and spirited music making. You keep my ego in check!