Cleveland choirs take the stage at the harvest festival

By Sophie Weir, Copy editor

The Cleveland auditorium was alive with music on the night of Oct. 19, marking the annual choir harvest festival of 2017. At 7 p.m., crowds settled into the wooden seats to hear all five choirs perform the pieces they’d been practicing since the very beginning of the school year. According to Diana Rowey, Cleveland’s choir teacher, all of their hard work pulled together really smoothly into an excellent concert.

The Sellwood middle school choir opened the show, followed by the performances of the Cleveland choirs, and two specialty acts, or soloists. Maggie McBride, a junior on A Choir, says mastering these pieces is a process. At first they practice the notes and rhythms, but then they must dive deeper, working on the creation of one blended, seamless voice.

“We want to make it beautiful to listen to. [There’s] a lot of technical stuff we have to get through to make it sound the way we’re known for — a really united and pure sound,” McBride said.

One of the three pieces mastered by A choir for the festival was “On justice, On peace,” a hebrew song about promoting peace in the world. It was chosen by Rowey to foster a sense of positivity in the audience, in light of all the violence and discourse in the world right now.

According to McBride, this power only found on stage is what attracts her to choir. “We can bring a sense of happiness or love or peace to the environment when we’re singing. When you go to a choir concert, a lot of that stuff can be forgotten for an hour or two, and people can really enjoy a fun and beautiful performance,” she said.

This long-standing Cleveland tradition is alive and well after more than 30 years, and for good reason. Not only is it a great opportunity for our choirs to showcase their talent, but a way for audience members to connect with the students onstage through music.