Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Los Cantantes del Lago

I belong to a community choir called Los Cantantes del Lago (The Singers of the Lake). There are members from all over the world, who live here at Lakeside, as well as Mexican singers. Our director is a professional director and is quite a task master; it's good for us because he gets quality from us we didn't know we had. Our music is 16th Century sacred music to "White Christmas" with songs in French, Latin, Spanish and English. This afternoon will be our last rehearsal before our first Christmas concert on Dec. 10. We will sing with the Golden Strings, which is composed of Mexican students who otherwise would have no chance to learn to play music. They are directed by a local composer and musician; he has created a really wonderful group of musicians out of children of all ages. Some of them will no doubt go on to play with the Guadalajara Symphony.

Our next concert is Dec. 12 on the steps of the church in Chapala. Chapala is having it's first annual Festival of Lights with a fireworks barge on the lake. This is will be opening night and should be spectacular. I only hope we don't freeze singing at 8 pm as it gets quite chilly this time of year; maybe down to 60 degrees F. Our dresses are long but have chiffon sleeves; the men will be OK in their tuxs. Then three concerts throughout the weekend and next week in our own venue.
All this, not counting mini concerts around Lakeside--whew!

Our choir is getting better and better as our director presents more challenging music for us to sing each year. We generally have a Christmas concert series and a Spring concert series. Last summer we were invited by the government of Ecuador to represent Mexico in a music festival in Quito. It was a wonderful experience for me as I've never been to South America before. And quite gratifying to see an LDS chapel a short distance from our hotel. Next summer we are going to tour our own country. Visiting Patzcuaro, Morelia (for their annual music festival), San Miguel de Allende and Zamora. We may have other venues as time goes by, but this is what's scheduled so far.

LATER: Returned from our rehearsal tired but jubilant. The choir is prepared for concert! That hasn't always been the case; in years past we have had trouble with balance within the choir as well as knowing the music just before a concert. As I said, we are getting better and better. We now have 62 voices and the newest singers have good quality to add to our mix.