LT welcomes junior high choirs at Choral Festival

Mia Bonfiglio, Reporter

The Junior High Choral Festival is an annual event where music students from junior highs in the area are invited to LT to perform a concert with the LT choir students.

“The awesome thing about the Junior High Choral Festival is that it brings together 350 to 500 people of diverse ages and backgrounds, but what they have in common is that they all sing,” choir director Constance Lyda said. “When you see and hear a choir that big, it’s a very powerful thing.  It’s a giant metaphor for the fact that there are things that bring people together, and one of those is any of the arts.”

The festival took place on Jan. 10. Students practiced in the SC fieldhouse from 11:15 2:15 p.m., attended a pizza party at 5:30 p.m., and ended with a performance at 7:00 p.m. in the SC fieldhouse.

“The Junior High Choral Festival is a wonderful way to help get future LT students excited to sing in LT choirs,” choir director David Hartley said. “It is great to see our LT singers interact with the junior high students. I love seeing the camaraderie blossom among all grade levels on this shared day of music-making.”

A total of 244 junior high students from five different schools participated this year. The LT choir students mentored the junior high students throughout the day.

“This is a great way to introduce middle schoolers to what choir at LT is like and encourage them to sign up for it if they come to LT,” Kate Finnerty ‘19 said.

The LT choral faculty directs the festival each year. Lyda, Hartley and choir director John Musick each teach and conduct one of the songs.

Every year the choir has a tradition to sing “Dubula”, Lyda said. It is a South African folk song that is very upbeat. There are also songs sung separated by gender. This year the girls’ song was Let Me Fly, a spiritual song, and the boys sang “Sivela Kwazulu”, another South African song.

“[The choir] thinks it is incredibly important that humans share some essential commonalities in spite of the divisiveness we see in the world right now,” Lyda said.