We started on the third choral movement, Fechit Potenciam (He has shown strength with his arm). Alto Charlene requested that we start work on this difficult movement. Not only are there lots of runs and lots of words, but the choir only sings the same words at the same time near the very end. We struggled, but we managed to get through it. It made us feel good to go back to the first movement (Magnificat – My soul magnifies the Lord) and sing it straight through. It sounded good.
We also practiced the second choral movement (Omnes generations – All Generations) and got through it with just a few stops and starts. We are definitely making progress. We went over the first Interpolation (Vom Himmel Hoch – From Heaven he came) and again practiced the German and Bach’s wonderful chorale arrangement of this hymn.
At the end of each rehearsal we practice the shorter anthems. We concentrated on Mary’s Boy Child, a spiritual arranged by Jester Hairston. It has lots of syncopated rhythms, and is lots of fun to sing. Both Ernest and I remember Jester Hairston, a wonderful musician who visited high schools all over the country. He made it to both Banning High and Glendale High where we both got to sing while he directed and introduced us to his music. It seems that he had the goal of saving and sharing this music. For both of us, the day he visited was an unforgettable experience. We never forgot his warmth and enthusiasm for music. He made us all love it too. Saving and sharing is also the goal of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, which aims to save and share the languages, music, histories and cultures of southern California Indians. For further information, check out their website.