University of Louisville Cardinal Singers

So, I’ve shoved the Sunday update to Saturday last week because it would be hectic, and I wasn’t wrong. In fact, yesterday, I only reached home at 10pm, and while that’s early for some (most) of you out there, it’s actually pretty late for me. But the concert that I went to was truly worth staying up for.

See, yesterday, I went on a school outing with the others in my CCA (Co-Curricular Activity), choir, to watch a concert put together by the University of Louisville Cardinal Singers( who would be referred to as the Cardinal Singers for the rest of this piece, because their name’s too long), and my mind was blown.

Okay, they have 35 people in their choir, excluding the conductor, which already makes them bigger than my school’s choir at its current record-breaking 28 (29?) people, but they’re so evenly-split, and their repertoire was huge. Frankly ginormous, I swear.

And their voices were heavenly. Their synchronization, the way all their voices really blend together so well, the tension in the air when they draw out a note, the way they could make you feel a ripple just with their voices… And the fact that there’s at least about seven of them that’s not in the least bit involved with music. One of them’s studying medicine and there’s another one studying to be an elementary school teacher, actually.

I truly admire them now.

I’ve actually only joined the choir at the start of this year, the first time I’m actually in the choir, my love for music prompting me to finally take up that challenge and sacrifice a huge chunk of the free time being in the school’s journalism club had given me. This is also the first time I’ve attended a concert, so, perhaps there’s others out there who are better, but the Cardinal Singers? One of them alone has the volume and the talent that is probably about three times that of our whole choir put together. In fact, they only need four, one from each of SATB, and they’d still do about five times better than our school’s whole choir.

And watching them made me realise just how mediocre we are.

Our choir subsists on a total of that pitiful amount of people (with an extra large intake this year), and the choir’s split into 10% bass, 20% tenor, about 30% alto and the remaining 40% sopranos. This is a very rough aggregate, but it’s true that we only have 4 basses. On a good day. Occasionally, because three of the basses are graduating next year and are very busy this year, we’d only have one bass, who’d be drowned out by everyone else despite trying his best.

Honestly speaking? I’m proud of our school’s choir, proud of the fact that even though we’re all pretty bad individually (with the exception of about three soloists), as a group, we somehow have the ability to carry a song well enough to get a round of polite applause from the school when we perform. But the Cardinal Singers? According to their professor, they breeze through songs, about a song a session, whereas it takes us almost a year to get one song finalised and performance-worthy.

And I’d truly like to get to their level some day, but it doesn’t seem very likely to be happening anytime soon.

Their songs were so good it’s hard to find a favourite, but if forced to choose, I’d say it’s between Butterfly (arr. 2001), and Wade in de Water (arr. 1998). I’d link you to a youtube video, but I can honestly say that none of them does actually sitting there, watching the concert, any justice. When you’re there, you’d really feel the music, whereas from the video, the music just doesn’t sound the same at all.

I think that’s it, for now.



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