I alluded to this in my last post, but I want to reiterate the sheer level of grace that the students in our choir have had as they've responded to yesterday's news. It's been generally accepted by everyone that our placement in this competition boils down to the preferences of the panel of judges at the Seghizzi competition, and that their call does not in any way insinuate that there is anything 'wrong' about the quality of our sound. If anything, there are many students in our choir who feel empowered by the results in a way, proud of who they are and what they've achieved on this trip.
Before the competition, we had six unforgettable concerts in churches across Italy that touched the hearts of countless people. And even before that, this choir had an incredible nine months of growth and dedication- from their first group warmup at the start-of-year retreat, to the final ringing chord of Considering Matthew Shepard in First United Methodist Church. Every moment of community that has been fostered in this choir is more valuable than gold, or any prize that Gorizia could possibly provide us. Sure, there will be no plaque from the 2023 Seghizzi International Choral Competition adorning the walls of Cramer 453- but in its place will hang the decorative plastic street sign that Ethan bought from a little souvenir shop in Forni di Sopra. It may not be shiny, it may not be engraved with our name in a fancy font, but it carries memories far more important. Memories of a choir who stayed true to themselves, who shared their voices with the world, and who learned to love themselves just a little more along the way.
A thanks is in order for all the friends, fans, and competing choirs who have DM'ed the Chamber Choir social media accounts with their love and unwavering support. A bigger thanks to Ethan for being such a guiding light during such an unexpected chapter in this trip!