Easton Choral Arts Society’s Third Annual High School Choral Competition took place in the Talbot County Auditorium at Easton High School on February 29. Sincethe results of the Competition took a backseat to pandemic news around the world, the organization recently announced the winners of that Choral Competition.
Taking First Place, with a prize of $2500, was the Tower Hill School’s Vocal Ensemble out of Wilmington, DE. This highly accomplished group, directed by Zerrin Martin, performed “La, la, la, je ne l’ose dire” (French Folk Song, “La, la, la, Do not dare I say it”) arranged by the Renaissance composer Pierre Certon, followed by “Four Slovak Folk Songs” by 20th Century composer Bela Bartok. Tower Hill’s final selection was Undine S. Moore’s arrangement of the traditional spiritual “Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord”.
Second Place, with a prize of $1500, was awarded to Severn School’s Treble Choir from Anne Arundel County, directed by Rob Redei,The all-female ensemble opened with J. Leavitt’s arrangement of the Renaissance composer Pierre Passereau’s “Il est bel et bon,” (“He is handsome and fine”). This was followed by a J. Hairston arrangement of the 20th-century composer Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Linden Lea”. The Treble Choir ended their impressive performance with the composition “Bloody Men” by the contemporary composer Matthew Harris.
The judges awarded Third Place of $1,000 to another of Mr. Redei’s groups, the Severn School Vocal Ensemble. “Abendlied” (Evening Song), composed in the mid-nineteenth century by Josef Rheinberger was their opening selection. “Deep River”, arranged by Moses Hogan in the 20th century followed, and they closed their performance with the contemporary “Acrostic Song” by composer David Del Tredici, considered a pioneer of the Neo-Romantic movement.
Other vocal ensembles that qualified for the competition and performed on February 29 were: Bowie High School’s Chamber Choir under the direction of Angelica Brooks (Prince George’s County); Old Mill High School’s Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Angela Adams (Anne Arundel County); Oxon Hill High School’s Concert Choir under the direction of Rafealito Ross (Prince George’s County); Notre Dame Prep’s Chamber Choir under the direction of Stacey Bilenki (Towson, MD); Liberty High School’s Madrigals under the direction of Michael Rainbow (Carroll County) and Queen Anne’s County High School Concert Choir under the direction of Kimberly Kalicky. You are invited to enjoy the recorded performances on the Easton Choral Arts web-site: http://www.eastonchoralarts.org/high-school-choral
Judging this year’s competition were: Dr. William M. Folger of Salisbury University, Dr. Richard J. Giarusso of the Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University,and Dr. James Wilson of Wesley College, Dover.
Easton Choral Arts recognizes the valued contributions of the following donors: Bob and Cris Doughty (competition underwriters for the third time), Nicolas and Marcia Fidis, Donna Barker, Richard and Barbara Doughty, Deborah Newnam Kudner, Phil and Sarah Sayre, the Watson-Stone Family Foundation, John and Trish Malin, Carol Harrison, Lee Thomas, Lynne Gradisar, Ruth Heltne, Martha Horner, Connie Lindeman, Shirley and Stanley Martin, Ellen Rajacich, Helen and Ed Theiler, Becky Zinser, Ken and Elizabeth Bush, David and Ronya Driscoll, James and Sheila Scott, Edmond and Melody Stabler. Grant contributions from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council also contributed to this event’s funding. ECAS is most appreciative of these generous supporters.