Have you heard we’re offering a brand new youth chorus event this year? Held in downtown San Antonio, Texas, Festival de Musicalé will offer two days of clinic/rehearsal with Dr. Susan Brumfield for your youth choral organization, culminating on the third day with our feature choir and mass chorus gala concert in the beautiful Tobin Center.
Our very own Alan Hanna, director of performance, recently sat down with Beth Berridge, our coordinator and event director, for an inside look at Festival Musicale, and why it’s an experience you won’t want to miss. Take it away, Alan!
Alan Hanna: So, Beth is going to be our event director, the main coordinator of our new youth chorus festival here in San Antonio, Festival Musicalé. We're going to cap it at 250 singers. It’s mainly geared towards children's choirs, but public schools, treble voices are welcome as well.
Beth: Sure. Well, we are very excited about this project. Director's Choice has been so amazing to us over the years, helping us travel and have amazing experiences with our students, with the West Texas Children's Chorus, and we thought how great it would be to do something similar to the trip that we did by having a big festival choir and letting Dr. Brumfield conduct that. There's just no comparison to what she does with children and their voices. We're so excited to host it in San Antonio. Our concert's going to be at the Tobin Center, which we're thrilled about. It's going to be an amazing venue and just a great performance. So, we're really looking forward to next June 2020 and having great experience with these kids!
AH: The welcoming event will be on that Thursday night, June 4. We'll have something that's kid-friendly for the kids, and also the directors. Then the next two days will be rehearsals. Our host choir is going to be the San Antonio Children's Chorus. We're super excited about that. Ryan Garrison is amazing, and working with these folks is going to be really good. They're going to help show us a little bit of San Antonio too. For those of you that are interested in coming to Texas, this is going to be a lot of fun. If the kids have not ever been to the River Walk, it's a special experience.
Beth: It really is, yes.
AH: There's a lot of stuff to do [in San Antonio]. Our groups have the option to do an extended stay either before or after the trip. There's SeaWorld here, there's Fiesta Texas. There's the Natural Bridge Caverns. There are a lot of great student-friendly, kid-friendly entertainment options here.
Beth: Don't forget about the Alamo. That's always a highlight of the trip.
AH: The Alamo! Our hotel will be in walking distance from the Alamo and the Tobin Center. Also, if you've not seen the Tobin Center, just Google "Tobin Center" and look at the pictures. It is a gorgeous facility. One of their best.
Beth: I'm very excited. I've never been inside. So, I'm very excited about that.
AH: So, what other visions do you have here for Festival Musicale?
Beth: One of my favorite things about these kinds of festival choirs is the community that you build and having singers from, hopefully, all over the United States that get to come together for a shared musical experience. It amazes me. The kids exchange email addresses and phone numbers and they continue to connect over the years. I think that's just a very unique experience that kids don't have the opportunity for outside of these events.
AH: So, of course, Friday and Saturday will be rehearsal days with evening activities. But on Saturday night, we have something special happening up in Bulverde, Texas. They have a rodeo on Saturday night. I'm sure that there's a lot of kids who have never seen a rodeo who might be interested. I had not ever seen a rodeo until I saw this one, and I like to come every time I'm down here to see it.
Beth: It's going to be great.
AH: We’ll start our dress rehearsals in the Tobin Center on Sunday at noon, and at 6 p.m., we'll have our gala concert.
AH: [After the concert], we're going to go back to the hotel to have a big reception with a DJ to wrap up the trip in a fun way.
Beth: It's going to be fantastic.
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