This article was written by middle school students Aria R. and Lorelei R.
“This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.” That’s the sentence seventh and eighth grade choir students had heard from Ms. Symes. She could not stress enough how lucky we were to have the opportunity to participate in the prestigious Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) Choralfest 2019, which took place in Fremantle, Australia. Many of us didn’t really believe her until we had a grasp on what the school was allowing us to partake in. Our very own Singapore American School World Voices middle school choir was going to be performing among some of the finest and most well-known choirs in Australia. Indeed this was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity!
It is hard to describe with words the level of dedication that was shown by the members of the choir, teachers, and parents involved in the preparations for the performance. We owe a lot to the chaperones who went on the trip, Ms. Callaghan, Ms. Mankin, and Mr. Raymaakers. They made sure we were on and off the plane safely, got from one venue to the other, were fed well at great restaurants, and survived the trip without leaving anyone behind. We also had our amazing accompanist with us, Ms. Alesia, who aided us with her inspiring music that took our performance to a whole new level. We are forever indebted to our choir teacher Ms. Symes, for making this entire trip happen. Without her, this trip would never have become a reality.
Going into Choralfest, I didn’t know many people. I was acquainted with a few people and friends with a few. However, throughout the trip, I met and enjoyed spending time with several people who I never would have talked to without Choralfest. The dinners, walks, performances, preparation, drama, long talks, bus rides, and bonding moments were highlights of this trip, and I would willingly do it all over again. I feel blessed to have been in the same place with people who were as passionate about singing as me for five days. Truly.
—Anaya W., eighth grade student
The ANCA Choralfest trip was not just a leisurely vacation. There were after-school rehearsals, in-class practices, and a lot of hard work involved in the process. Even though we worked hard in rehearsals to sound as good as possible, for the students that went on the trip there was only one thing that mattered—sharing our love and passion for singing with the world and being able to help our audience connect to the music. We not only deepened our connections to music throughout the trip, but we also deepened our connections with each other. From talking with friends on the plane and bus to shopping at the market together, members of the choir became more tightly knit and connected in a way that was only possible through the shared experience of ANCA Choralfest. We can confidently say that this was one of the most incredible trips that we have been on—one that we will remember for the rest of our lives!
- Choralfest 2019
- middle school