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I recently attended a Christmas concert at St. Augustine’s Church in Elkdridge.
For the most part, the choir blended well together. Sometimes the sopranos could
be heard more clearly because their section seemed to be the most powerful. The
choir had very clean cutoffs, which made them seem very unified. They
communicated the text pretty well. It was easy to sense the mood of the piece
from the expression they put into it. However, their dynamics could have been
better. They used some dynamics, but the range from piano to forte wasn’t as
wide as it could have been. Their diction was excellent; they enunciated their
consonants and their vowels were pure with very few diphthongs. I think this was
partly because their posture was good and because they sang with the perfect
mouth shape. All of them stood up straight and sang with a dropped jaw at all
times. I could not judge their breath support too well just by looking at them,
but I think it was fairly good because of the energy of the pieces they
performed. Even when they were singing at a piano volume, their energy showed
through and could be heard in the music. Without adequate breath support, this
energy would not have been possible. Their breath support also made for a nice
legato sound. They staggered their breathing well enough so that I never heard
any spots in the music where everyone took a breath at once, except for rests.
They were never off key either; their intonation was perfect. The sound was
always pure and on pitch, except when they sang in unison. Their unison was
still perfectly on pitch, but the sound was less pure because individual voices
tended to dominate the group. Overall, I thought this was a spectacular concert.
Like the choir here at Wilde Lake, I noticed some weaknesses, but their
strengths easily outweighed them.
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