All-State Senior Chorus Festival


Photo Credit : Dustee Forster, All-State Friend

Bishop Feehan Juniors, Mirolla Boules and Idalia Beerman-Rodriguez, pictured with All-State choral director Dr. Jace Saplan.

Idalia Beerman-Rodriguez, Staff Writer

The 2023 All-State Senior Chorus Festival was a time to be had. Although cut short by the elusive New England weather, the nine-hour day on Friday, 3/3, was nothing short of eye-opening. It started with an introduction to our 2023 Choral Director, Dr. Jace Saplan. Dr. Saplan is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music Learning & Choral Conducting at Arizona State University and was recently named the third Artistic Director of the Choral Arts Society in Washington. They are also the Artistic Director of the Nā Wai Chamber Choir, a Hawaiian vocal ensemble that is dedicated to preserving Hawaiian choral music. Dr. Saplan brought a uniqueness in their style of teaching that is rarely seen; they captivated the entire room, and we were all left feeling enlightened. Dr. Saplan is Filipino, Chinese, and Hawaiian, which was refreshing to see in a field that is mostly dominated by white people.

They incorporated their Hawaiian background by teaching us a traditional Maiori song, E Papa Waiari, during rehearsal that was separate from our pre-learned pieces. After learning this song, we moved on to the other four pieces: The Land of the Free, I Thank you God, Heilig, and Kanaval. While both Heilig and Kanaval are in different languages, Kanaval was the most difficult by far. It is a 24 page piece in Haitian Creole with many changing rhythm patterns. Although daunting, all of the pieces ended up sounding perfectly harmonized and well put together. If you are interested in hearing any of the five pieces, please visit Mrs. Seals’ Instagram page, @bfhsvocalmusic, where she has posted all of the songs.

The new date for the performance at Boston Symphony Hall is yet to be announced, but is eagerly anticipated by all involved. Four Bishop Feehan students made it into All-State: Callista DeFeo ‘23, George Potenza ‘23, Mirolla Boules ‘24, and Idalia Beerman-Rodriguez ‘24. This experience was truly amazing, and an insane accomplishment for all. Be sure to be on the lookout for the new and improved concert date which will be happening sometime over the next couple of weeks.