Three Northwest Academies Unite for Holiday Concert
"Gloria, Gloria" began the blend of voices and strings, as students from three Northwest academies joined together to open the Christmas season.
As 55 voices from Auburn Adventist Academy's Sylvan Chorale and Puget Sound Adventist Academy's Impact Chorale and 33 stringed instruments from Walla Walla Valley Academy String Orchestra and Auburn Adventist Academy's Chamber Ensemble united together to present Vivaldi's Gloria, the audience was stirred with emotion, not only because of the beauty of the music, but also the beauty of the collaborative effort.
The students performed twice on Sabbath, Nov. 15, 2008, with worship service at Auburn Adventist Academy Church, followed by an afternoon concert at the Kirkland Church. Each performance also featured selections from Vivaldi's Concerto in D by the orchestra, and the afternoon performance included additional choral pieces by Impact and Sylvan. With vocal solos and duets, professional trumpet duets, guitar solos and a very spirited Djembe drum solo interspersed throughout the performance, the audience members were moved to their feet as they gave a standing ovation in collective appreciation.
This collaborative musical event was the dream of Estyn Goss, Puget Sound Adventist Academy's Impact director; John Neumann, 17-year director of Sylvan; Ben Gish, founder and conductor of Walla Walla Valley Academy String Orchestra; and Diana Heinrichs, Auburn Adventist Academy's Chamber Ensemble director, who all felt that Vivaldi's Gloria would be a blessing to the musicians as well as the audiences who would hear it.
Bryanna Clay, PSAA junior and an Impact first soprano, says, "Singing with a live orchestra was a new experience for me and it was amazingly beautiful." "I think Domine Fili Unigenite was my favorite piece to sing because it was happy and joyful—like Christmas should be."
"It was really awesome to have three academies working together to produce such an excellent program. I really enjoyed being part of it," reflects Derek Dizon, PSAA senior and Impact second tenor.