The singers from the VocalEssence Youth Choir recently announced themselves to the local community using their official name: VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, or SOTA, for short. Since this is the inaugural year for the diverse choir, with students from all over the Twin Cities, the students were given the task naming the group.
“During one of our first rehearsals, choir members were asked to brainstorm some ideas, and SOTA was mentioned during that session,” said Rhiannon Fiskradatz, Youth Choir manager. “Both the geographical allusion and long form name, Singers Of This Age, resonated with the entire choir. It really seems to have inspired them! A member who enjoys drawing created several versions of a logo, and it was used as a jumping off point for writing lyrics to the choir’s anthem and was the catalyst for the conversation that resulted in our colorful costuming during the VocalEssence WITNESS performances.”
After several months of rehearsals, VocalEssence SOTA performed in their first subscription concert, VocalEssence WITNESS: Of Such I Dream. “We started to get an idea of how audiences would react to them when a selected group performed at a community partners luncheon the week before,” said Fiskradatz. “They were charming during a question and answer session prior to the performance, so they warmed everyone up with their personalities—and then wowed them with their singing. Aside from the telltale signs—thunderous applause, weeping, beaming, etc. —the choir’s success was obvious from the number of people who wanted to compliment them personally after the performance.”
As for the VocalEssence WITNESS concert… “The enormity of the opportunity was written on their faces the first time they stepped out on the Orchestra Hall stage. While there were a few jitters backstage, we were impressed with their professionalism and enthusiasm. As they began to sing there were lots of furtive glances around the hall and wide eyes. Kids reported a lot of spontaneous tears during “Love Has Broken Down the Walls,” in particular. Families were invited to the Atrium after the public performance, and it was clear that they and their choir member kids were very proud.”
It was a tremendous success, and we can’t wait to hear more from these talented young singers!