Toronto’s VOCE does Christmas

Last night, I was able to sit and listen to some amazing Christmas music with my kids. 

Well with one of them at least. The other 3 were performing!!

Earlier in the fall, the three oldest children that I nanny auditioned for VOCE – Voices of Catholic Education. It’s a choir put on by students in Catholic schools. It’s one more thing to add to their already hectic after-school schedule, but they seem to enjoy it, which is the most important thing.

Last night was their Christmas concert – the one they have been preparing for since September.

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It was a great night! The choir was up first, and they sang for about 30 minutes. We were sitting in the front row since we needed to have accessible seating for the grandmother and aunt. The kids looked great, and the whole choir sounded amazing. 4th was half falling asleep by the time the singing ended though. The best part about it being for the Catholic board, is that they were able to sing classic carols and not be afraid of any backlash from including religious songs in the set. I love the old carols that get sung in churches over the Christmas season (even more so if they are accompanied by a pipe organ!), but I also know the intense pressure put on a public school music director to pick only secular songs for their concerts.

The second act that went up was the youth orchestra. And O-M-G they were fantastic!! Like the singing was great, but this was amazing. They played 3 songs, and the last one was Earigami where the students used paper to play their instruments instead of their bows. They didn’t use their bows at all. Like they would rub the piece of paper across the strings. And then during a rest in the music, you see all the students frantically folding their papers in half, and then they used them to pluck at the strings, and then fold in half again and it was strong enough to act as a bow, and then in half again and again. It was the most amazing thing to watch. 4th was so engaged in it!! Clapping and trying to sit higher in her seat to see all the way to the back of the stage. Then she was watching to make sure that all the papers were taken off the stage after the orchestra left. Click here to see a youtube video of it being done by a different orchestra.

The last act was the honor band. The performance was in an arts school, and the conductor selected some very difficult pieces for the kids to perform – but they were great doing them.

After all three sections showcased their talents, there was a little sing-a-long. 4 Christmas songs, which were played very quickly and the lyrics felt very rushed, but it was fun all the same.

Over all a great night out!

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