Photo by Jenn Schaefer Photography Nicole Belmont takes the helm of the renowned choral organization (Phoenix,…
I was fortunate to go to Boston for the editing sessions of our upcoming album featuring the Ola Gjeilo‘s choral music. Having raised the most funds during our spring fundraising campaign, this was my reward!
My trip to Boston started July 5 with a stop at the Chorale’s administrative office to pick up my music. Then we hopped on a red-eye flight to Boston and arrived the next morning. We drove straight to the Soundmirror studios and started listening. And by listening, I mean heavy duty listening.
This is my first recording with the Chorale. We had already spent the better part of three days over Memorial Day Weekend creating this album and going into the editing sessions, I really didn’t know what to expect.
I sat there in awe. It was emotionally overwhelming to listen to such lush, gorgeous sounds. There was a moment during the editing process that will stay with me forever. We were listening to the playback of “Northern Lights” and the music, the artistic interpretation and singing were so subtle and moving it brought tears to my eyes.
As I looked around the room, I realized that I was surrounded by the people that made this piece a reality: Joseph Ohrt commissioned this piece (he teaches at Central Bucks High School West in Pennsylvania); Ola Gjeilo, the composer of the piece; Blanton Alspaugh, our producer who was there when we recorded the piece; Joel Rinsema and myself, who actually sang on the piece; and of course, Charles Bruffy – who interpreted and breathed life into the piece with the Chorale.
We were all in the same room listening to this beautiful new creation – a wonderful and significant creation – something so subtly beautiful in this crazy mixed-up world… I can’t wait for everyone to hear “Northern Lights.” I hope you will be moved, like me, to curl up on the floor and weep with beautiful sorrow and hopefulness.
It was such a pleasure to be there and to get to be a part of the editing process. I learned so much just from listening to conversations and comments during the sessions.
I love being a part of the Phoenix Chorale family. We’re all just regular everyday folks, getting together for a July 4 barbecue or pedicures… We all have jobs and families and struggles and oh, yeah, we can sing like that! I really think you will feel you’ve died and gone to heaven when you hear these pieces.
– Stephanie Stickford, Phoenix Chorale Alto