On Friday, Jan. 11, all nine of Kingswood Oxford’s choral groups performed at the 2019 Choral Expo in Roberts Theater. The expo, a culmination of the groups’ work from the first semester, included both the Middle and Upper School.
The Middle School groups (Upper Prep Choraliers, Cantabile, Octopipers, and F2B) and the Upper School groups (VOCE Novissima, Outlook, Oxfordians, Crimson 7 and Concert Choir) all came together to put on a spectacular performance.
Director of Choral Music Steve Mitchell said that the groups have been hard at work learning and sight reading music and building their repertoire. “The Choral Expo that happened on January 11th is a showcase, it’s a chance for all the choirs in the school to show a little bit about what they’ve been working on,” he said.
For this year’s concert, Director of Crimson 7 and Outlook as well as co-Director of Concert Choir David Baker and Mr. Mitchell decided to focus on the theme of light. A lot of the pieces performed at the expo dealt with this theme, such as “Will There Really Be a Morning” by Craig Hella Johnson.
“That’s kind of about being alone in darkness and will I ever see the light again, will I ever be happy again, is kind of what it says,” said Mr. Mitchell. “We paired it with a concert choir piece called ‘I Can See the Light of a Clear Blue Morning,’ so it went from ‘will there ever be a morning’, and then we moved into the actual morning where it mimics the sunrise.”
Senior Olivia Coxon, who is apart of Oxfordians, Outlook, and Concert Choir, was the soloist for “I Can See the Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” which was performed by the Concert Choir.
“It’s really pretty and it’s kind of a high solo. I’d say it’s like a soprano solo,” she said.
Mr. Baker said that Olivia was consistent through the audition process, and the mixed sound and transitions between her lower and higher voice were especially impressive.
Mr. Mitchell agreed that the mixed sound in between was where she showed how much she understood the lyrics and how to phrase the piece.“There’s only one other singer in the world, who works with the man who wrote that song,” he said. “Who I’ve ever heard sing that piece as well as Olivia Coxon.”
Juniors Remy McCoy and Jacqueline Ouellette also had big solos, as well as seniors Eryk Jones, Dan Carroll, and Charlie Coxon. “Eryk, Charlie, and Dan are four-year seniors, so they’ve been in the group for all four years,” Mr. Baker said. “They’re invaluable, they know so much about Crimson 7 in terms of its traditions, in terms of how rehearsals are run, what to expect in terms of performances, and they help the younger guys kind of figure out how to be performers.”
This was also the first year that the Upper and Middle School sang an a capella set together. “It was nice to see kind of where our singers begin and then kind of where they go and I know the boys in Crimson 7 said it was really cool to open up for the Middle Schoolers,” Mr. Baker said.
Sophomore Snehaa Ram, who sings in VOCE and Oxfordians, said she really enjoyed listening to the Middle Schoolers. “I definitely like listening to the Middle Schoolers because the high schoolers don’t get to listen to any of them, and they’re all really cute and talented, so that’s fun,” she said.