Lakeside’s Middle School choir was selected earlier in the year to take part in the American Composers Forum’s ChoralQuest residency. ChoralQuest pairs a notable composer with mid-level choirs to commission a new work. Lakeside School’s 7th- and 8th-grade choir was selected, along with Sister Cities Girlchoir in Philadelphia and Cottage Grove Middle School in Minnesota, to work with 2019 ChoralQuest composer Abbie Betinis. Betinis composed one piece, "Song in my Head," informed and inspired by the three choirs.
Since the January selection, choir students have met twice with Betinis over video-call. On May 29, she will attend the final rehearsal to work in-person with the choir. On Thursday, May 30, the choir will premiere the new piece in front of students, faculty, and staff at the weekly Middle School community meeting.
"The opportunity to see a composer take their words and, before their eyes, notate those words in rhythm and begin to write a brand new piece of music was eye-opening for students," said Choir Director Shekela Wanyama. "This piece will undoubtedly undergo revision after Ms. Betinis receives their feedback about the rehearsal process and hears Thursday's performance first-hand, so the students' participation has been critical in the creation of this piece."
Learn more about ChoralQuest and the residency here.