Sunday, May 04, 2008

Heinrich Schutz Perpetual Trophy

The good news: we won the Heinrich Schutz Perpetual Trophy for our interpretation of a Heinrich Schutz work in the National or International competition.

The bad news: we didn't win. And, of course, we are disappointed. Losing isn't fun, that's what makes winning so great.

It was a very close competition and the caliber of the other choirs was extremely high. Win or lose, we are thankful for the experience and we'll be a better choir from having entered the fray.

Today, I take the most joy in what this has brought for the UAB students. Here's something Ashley Arrington said:
I had a great time singing last night. My face was shaking from smiling so much. I felt like we exuded confidence and pride for our choir, our country, our school and of course our music. I was worried because I didn't know how we measured up to other choirs since we hadn't heard any anothers perform...but when we went out to listen afterwards I realized we were right in stride with everyone else if not a step ahead of them. Performing for an attentive, interested audience is a thrill like none other. I could see people's reactions out of my peripheral vision and that really encouraged and excited me even more. I also think we stood out in a number of ways. We had by far the biggest sound. Other choirs were good at the controlled chamber choir-esque sound, but that got boring very quickly. However, there was no way anyone could sleep through any song in our set. Every song was exciting in some way. Our songs were impeccably chosen and executed.

As we sang I thought about what Dr. C said about all of our songs having a certain universality to them -- that is what this whole experience has been for me. We've gotten to meet people from all over the globe, and despite our differences we all share a love of choral music. It is a source of passion and joy for all of us or else we wouldn't be here. When we hit the phrase "until the universe can fit inside my heart" I could feel the love and warmth in the room. I felt a definite appreciation for what we were doing up there from people of all walks of life. That caused a revelation in me -- that we're all just people, no matter what or where we come from. Music is the single thread that ties us all together and it is truly a universal language.


Mr. Henry said...

Okay, yes, it sucks losing. But I know you all did great, and don't let that take away from what a great experience it was. Kudos on the Schutz Tropy, something you can hang your hat on. Enjoy your stress free time now that the competition is over, I'm looking forward to seeing you all again.

Nicholaus said...

Although I share the disappointment in not taking top prize, winning the Schutz prize is a great achievement. The experience that the choir has gained by competing will be immeasurable. Bravi to you all for your hard work and dedication.

delia said...

Yes, Congrats on the Schutz prize. If i remeber correctly we won an interpretation prize in Tours as well. When I look back on our trip to France, my first thought is never that we didn't win; it is always the feeling I left the stage with that first Friday night of competition. The feeling that you want to cry, scream, and jump for joy b/c of the amazing music you were just apart of making (I am sure the same feeling that Ashley was talking about). That is what you will remember forever. That short 12 minutes is what you worked so hard for and, THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT. I am proud of you all! Much love, and come home safely!

Dr. Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk said...

You should all be proud of yourselves. Bravi tutti on winning the Schutz trophy! Always remember that there is no "winning" or "losing" in what you is much bigger than that, and you exude it when you sing. Your thorough preparation and sensitive performances are grander than any trophy. You've represented UAB well; even more importantly, you've represented the composers well.

Thinking of all of you. You are loved! -Dr. Kris

mbverch said...

Congratulations, guys! It sounds like you guys are having/have had a good time. : )

I like the videos. You should post more.