By Rachel Mendez ’23
A couple weeks ago, on a chilly October morning, the members of Chamber Singers – our audition-based upper school singing group – met up bright and early at a small church in Lexington, Massachusetts. In pajama pants and hoodies, we shared a meal together lovingly prepared by Mrs. Shim and prepared ourselves for the long day of rehearsals ahead. And rehearse we did! Time flew by quickly as we divided up parts and learned solos in preparation for our performance for Highrock Lexington’s church service the next morning. On our breaks, we quickly took up fooseball, forming alliances to fight against the reigning champion of the hour. Some braved the crisp fall air to play basketball or goof around on the church’s playground, but quickly ran back in at the resounding call that dinner was ready. After a filling pasta dinner, we boarded a school bus to head to the North Shore Theatre. With a round stage and actors walking through the audience, Voices of Hope: An Evening with Sondheim, Schwartz, and Webber (whose funds go to cancer research) was quite a unique experience. Exhausted from a full day, we boarded the bus back to the church to get a good night’s rest before our time together the next morning.
At 8:00 am the following day, we arrived in long black dresses and button-down shirts for our performance that was only a few hours away. The smell of freshly-cooked waffles filled the room as we ate, and lingered as we promptly moved into vocal warmups. Filing onto the stage, I could feel the warmth buzzing in the air as we prepared to perform. We sang Still With Thee, a melancholy spiritual based on Psalm 139, and ended the performance with a gospel rendition of He Never Failed me Yet. After the service, we fellowshipped with the church’s members for a short while and then headed downstairs to change out of our formalwear and get ready for lunch. Then we moved into rehearsals for Broadway Follies! I can’t say much about this, but I definitely enjoyed dancing and singing together. Our sound and choreography already suggests a promising show. Later that afternoon was likely one of the most important parts of our day. As a group, we participated in Highrock Lexington’s Community Partners program, a monthly program in which they provide and share a meal with members of the local community with mental health issues to offer them a space for fun and fellowship. Through music, we were able to fellowship and encourage these individuals who often struggle to connect with others.
Thank you so much to our chaperones Mary Bulger, Yeji Shim, Sarah Broomell, and Paul Johnson! This weekend was an amazing time to connect with others, practice as a group, serve, and laugh together. If you’re interested in seeing Chamber Singers perform, make sure to look out for Broadway Follies on October 29th! We’d love to see you there!