The late video game theorist and author Jesper Juul wrote in his book, “The Art of Failure,” that losing in video games is part of what makes games so engaging. Failing in a game makes the player feel inadequate, yet the player can immediately redeem themselves and improve their skills.
The gala concert also introduces a brand-new Festival commission for chorus and orchestra by Northern Ireland creative production company, Dumbworld.Thursday 21 October marks the return of the award-winning Derry chamber choir Codetta, promising to be a major highlight for the 2021 programme as they perform?The Road Home?in Long Tower Church with Derry cellist Kim Vaughan.
The concert includes a world premiere of newly commissioned work by Irish composer Eoghan Desmond chosen in partnership with The Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland, as part of the year-long Colmcille 1500 celebratory programme, coordinated by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council.School performances will be back with a non-competitive format for primary years encouraging children and teachers to take part in the fun and community-spirited?Primary Big Sing?event in Millennium Forum on Thursday 21 October.This day of singing will include a workshop led by music education expert Lucinda Geogheganfeaturing?songs, games?and rhymes, ?and a specially composed piece for young voices by leading Catalan composer and conductor, Josep Vila i Casa?as. Post-primary schools will return for a day of competitions and a senior Big Sing on Friday 22 October.
The Festival is also hopeful that choirs throughout the island of Ireland will return for a day of competitions in various categories including mixed voice, equal voice, youth, sacred, pop, jazz and gospel, culminating in the brand-new Choir of the Festival competition.Friday 22 October the Festival welcomes a return visit from the UK vocal ensemble Tenebrae for a live performance in St Columb’s Cathedral. The critically acclaimed, award-winning choir is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles famous for its passion and precision, led by its musical director and founder, Nigel Short.
The Festival’s online programme features this year’s headline virtual act, the Grammy award-winning all-male a cappella ensemble Chanticleer from San Francisco, California. They will be making their virtual?debut at the Festival on Thursday 21 October with a live Zoom workshop and a bespoke recorded concert.
Renowned internationally as ‘the orchestra of voices,’ Chanticleer was founded in 1978 and remain as the ‘world’s reigning male chorus,’ performing stunning concerts to every corner of the world.Buoyed up by the success of the February concert, Shir Joy’s members were ready for their next challenge: to bring the joy of singing back to several other area choruses that had been idle since the previous March. Thanks in part to pandemic grants from the Worcester Cultural Council and Avidia Bank, Shir Joy re-envisioned its annual Communities of Song concert, a collaboration between Shir Joy and several area choruses. Gibbons as well as some chorus members helped teach members of other choruses to prepare videos electronically. Gibbons spent countless hours collating these into video recordings that were presented as a virtual concert on May 16. Shir Joy hosted the concert on Zoom, composed of virtual chorus recordings, parking lot chorus recordings, and videos of previous Communities of Song concerts when all the choruses could sing together. Like Shir Joy’s Winter concert, a YouTube video was distributed to senior and assisted living facilities and cable stations.? All proceeds from the concert were sent to the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Massachusetts, which provides counseling to residents of Central Massachusetts.
When Covid restrictions began to relax in late spring 2021, Shir Joy resumed live, outdoor rehearsals in the beautiful courtyard of Congregation B’nai Shalom. Guest musicians added to the music, giving the singers and players, at least, an opportunity to enjoy live music together. Singing together outside with flowers blooming and birds singing around us was a treasured highlight of a very difficult year for many of Shir Joy’s members. Shir Joy ended its 2021 season with a final concert on June 27, performed virtually with a combination of the many techniques they had used over the year.? The group also performed lived while masked indoors at the Jewish Federation presentation Exodus 1947/Yom HaShoah commemoration and Israel Bonds Appeal in Worcester on June 22 and is scheduled to sing the pregame show for the WooSox on Aug. 22.?The Jewish Federation of Central Mass. has been a major supporter of Shir Joy since it began. Congregation B’nai Shalom has generously allowed the choir its use of rehearsal space.? ? ? Everyone at Shir Joy is looking forward to being able to return to live, in-person rehearsals on a regular basis. “As convenient as online concerts may be, they are actually far more work to produce and present than a live performance,” says Gibbons. “Chorus members much prefer to actually sing together rather than in the isolation of a virtual choir. We are a friendly, supportive group. For now, we have the option of live, outdoor rehearsals. When we need to, we can use our parking lot chorus system. At this moment, the future of the pandemic is uncertain. We are really looking forward to being able to sing together in person on a regular basis. However, come what may, we will continue as a harmonious community of enthusiastic singers!
Shir Joy Chorus will be resuming weekly rehearsals on Sunday evening, Oct. 3. Shir Joy welcomes new members; the group’s first two rehearsals are open to potential new members. Shir Joy Chorus is a 501(3)c corporation. Concerts are currently planned for Feb 6, 2022, and June 26, 2022. For more information about Shir Joy or how to join, go to shirjoychorus.com or contact them at shirjoyMA@gmail.com.Email this page