In the upper school choir’s first-ever competition, Greenline earned a first place title as well as a gold rating for its April 17 performance at New York City’s Heritage Festival. Soprano Mia Kundert ’16 and tenor Toni Ni Evans ’16 also won individual awards for solos.
The auditioned event brought choirs from around the country to St. Bartholomew’s Church, where fourteen ensembles participated in the event.
“Considering that there were schools whose choirs were bigger than Brimmer’s entire enrollment, and that we were able to compete with them and score in the top ten percent of all of the ensembles that participated, highlights the program that we have and the dedication of the singers,” says Greenline Choir Director Frank Van Atta.
Students were eager and excited to perform in front of four experienced judges, who gave the choir an overall score of 91. Alto Regina Carey ’16 said, “There was a combination of nerves, excitement, and fear. We had worked really hard leading up to it, and we wanted it to be our best performance.”
Greenline performed Walk Together, Children (arr. Hogan) The Lamb (Tavener), No Rocks A-Cryin’ (Dilworth), and Loch Lomond (Quick), with solos from Evans and Kundert.
Waiting to hear the contest results, alto section leader Claudia Slika ’16 could “literally feel her heart pounding against [her] chest.” She didn’t expect the competition to be so big, with much larger choirs. “I was intimidated, but I knew we had a strong group of kids,” she says. “Our school is strong at vocal performance, and we all love to sing. I think that’s why we’re successful. We don’t just do it as a class that we have to take. We love to do it.”
Greenline Vice President Simon Acevedo ’16 said, “For our first official competition, I did not expect for our group to come out with a gold rating, but we certainly worked hard for what we earned.”
For their part, Evans and Kundert didn’t realize they were in contention for two of 10 solo awards up for grabs at the event. “All I heard was, “Mia Kundert”, and I was very happy for her. Then I heard I won the award as well,” Evans said. “We both ran onto the stage, happy and proud.”
After the performance, Greenline celebrated by taking a nighttime cruise around Manhattan. The choir also attended On The Town, a Broadway show about a group of sailors who arrive in Manhattan with just one day to sight-see—which fit the choir’s whirlwind trip experience.
Carey said she was excited to experience New York with Greenline. “People were thrilled not only on stage, but in the city streets and even back at the hotel—singing out loud whenever they had the chance,” she said.
Greenline also visited New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music, and sat in on a vocal performance class, where the professor worked one-on-one with students. “I could tell that the instructor was an expert, and while he was very hard on one student, making her cry, he helped her improve,” said soprano Melodie Vo ’16.
The Gator wishes to congratulate Greenline on their achievement, and for making Brimmer and May School history.