Reflections on 2018-2019


Folks, it has been quite a year.

Quick recap:

  • We saw Hamilton (in October. I mean, how do you go up from that?)

  • We hosted 2 St. Olaf students and a student from North Central University.

  • We partnered with Augsburg University to premiere a two choir work in Hmong and English titled “My Dad the Mekong/Love Forever” which was powerful, heartbreaking and empowering.

    • Students got to meet and work with two living poets, Lee Her and Peter Yang, who wrote the incredible texts to the piece.

  • We partnered with VocalEssence as a a ¡Cantare! partner school - Pablo Mendoza Halliday came in for three residencies throughout the course of the year and wrote the haunting (and difficult) Cancion Ligera for my students. He wrote Mi Tierra for the mass choir (comprised of VESOTA, Field School and Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School) and drew the texts from the conversations he had with my students.

  • We returned to Cretin-Derham Hall’s 2nd Annual Pacific Islander Celebration Day.

  • We collaborated with St. Olaf College, HiWay Credit Union, VocalEssence, Augsburg University and the Harding Band and Orchestra.

  • Students participated in the St. Olaf Choral Day and attended the St. Olaf Christmas Festival. (Best comment: “wow, they had good consonants!”)

  • 13 Students were selected to be a part of the Singers Of This Age (SOTA) Choir. One student was selected as an alternate for the Minnesota All State Choir (!!!).

  • We were voted in the top 5 for the Best School Choir in Minnesota by WCCO!

  • We got a logo (see above) and an instagram: @hardingchoir

We had a heck of a year. I am proud of the work my students put in, grateful for the support of my colleagues and exhausted.

Here’s what you don’t see in the highlight reel of my year: a lack of motivation in my SSA choir, a massive social crisis in my Chamber choir resulting in a restorative justice circle, frantic recruiting tools to keep my tenors and basses in choir and many, many days where I felt ineffective, tired and not good enough. More to come on all of that.

For now: sleep, iced tea and mental preparation before I begin my grad studies in a few weeks.

¡Si se puede!