All City Choral Festival Brings Together Student Performers

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Choral students from schools across the Syracuse City School District came together to perform in the 2015 All-City Choral Festival at H.W. Smith Pre-K-8 School.
Hosted by H.W. Smith Music Teacher Todd Laffer, the event allowed choral students to perform with their peers in other SCSD schools. “All City allows a much greater number of students to participate in the festival experience then would be possible otherwise,” Mr. Laffer explains. “Many of these students don't have much interaction outside of their neighborhood. Music festivals allow students to interact in a positive and productive environment with others from all over the city.”
Schools each sent around 10 students to participate in the city-wide ensemble.
The Elementary Chorus was conducted by Virginia Labatos, accompanied by Marie Koch and managed by Christine DeLuca. The young students from Bellevue, Delaware, Dr. Weeks, Ed Smith, Franklin, Frazer, H.W. Smith, Hughes, Huntington, LeMoyne, Meachem, Porter, Roberts, Salem Hyde, Van Duyn and Webster Schools performed four songs, including A Tribute (arr. Mark Brymer) and Elijah Rock (Roger Emerson).
The Middle School Chorus, representing students from Clary, Danforth, Ed Smith, ELMS, Frazer, H.W. Smith, Huntington and the Middle School Alternative Program at Phoenix, performed Scarborough Fair (Roger Emerson), Lean On Me (with We Shall Overcome, Mark Hayes) and Exsulate Cantamos Festivo (Jay Althouse). The group was conducted by Amanda Sky Harris, accompanied by Rebecca Pena and managed by Jordan Ashley.
Mr. Ashley expressed what a positive experience the festival was for all students, “The All City Choir Festival is an amazing opportunity for talented young singers to create a meaningful musical experience for themselves and those around them. This collaboration helps them to grow as musicians and teaches them the benefits partnership in a larger society."
The High School Chorus, featuring Corcoran, Fowler, Henninger and Nottingham students, was conducted by Jose Peppie Calvar II, accompanied by Priscilla Babilonia and managed by Eveny Parker. The high school singers performed four pieces, including Lord, Lay Your Healing Hands Upon Me (Rollo Dilworth) and Bethover’s Wig (arr. Michael Geiger).
For the finale, students sang Canto de alabanza (Peppie Calvar), conducted by the composer himself and accompanied by Ms. Babilonia. Thank you to the talented student and staff musicians for their participation in this day of beautiful music!