Liberty High School's Madrigals Ensemble will compete in the Easton Choral Arts Society High School Choral Competition March 3.
Uniting their voices in song, Liberty High School’s Madrigals ensemble prepared for Saturday’s competition. The 16-member group will be one of nine high school choral ensembles competing onstage in the Easton Choral Arts Society High School Choral Competition in Talbot County on Saturday, March 3.
“It’s a great chance to show off our hard work and dedication, but also a way to come together with other groups who do what we love,” said alto Ashley Errigo, a senior at Liberty.
According to an Easton Choral Arts Society press release, the winning ensemble will receive a check for $2,500. The second-place ensemble will take home $1,500 and the third-place group will be awarded $1,000.
Last May, an invitation was mailed to 244 private and public high school choral directors in Maryland and Delaware located within an approximately 120-mile radius of Easton. Interested high schools requested registration materials at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. In November, each auditioning ensemble submitted recordings of two selections which were then adjudicated in a blind audition by a committee of music professionals. The pool was narrowed to nine schools.
Easton Choral Arts Society competition administrator Carolyn Harrison said the organization hopes to establish the competition as a yearly event to showcase, emphasize, promote and reward excellence in high school choral performance.
“We desire to create a platform to encourage youth to continue participating in choral groups beyond high school and we desire to provide the community with the opportunity to witness and enjoy the competition performances,” Harrison wrote in an email.
The Madrigals plan to perform classic Renaissance motet “Weep O Mine Eyes” by William Byrd, contemporary motet “The Road Home” by Stephen Paulus and classic spiritual “Witness” by Jack Halloran.
Director Michael Rainbow said the ensemble’s acceptance into the competition is a testament to how the program has grown over the past four years.
“It’s not about being the best in the county — it’s about being great no matter where we are anywhere in the world,” Rainbow said.
He said he strives to “get the kids to come from an authentic place and sing from their personal experiences.”
“They had us sing in a circle with our eyes closed and just listen to each other, and that’s probably one of the best performances of the songs that I’ve heard,” Moravec said.
Senior Delaney Goodwin, who sings soprano, agreed.
“It was really helpful to just listen to each other,” she said. “There are a lot of moving parts in our pieces and, when we’re learning them, there’s a lot of emphasis on just learning your part and feeling good about it. It was helpful for me to really hear my part in conjunction with the group.”
Goodwin said the competition will allow the ensemble to demonstrate the hard work they put into their songs.