Monday, May 6, 2013

Festival Concert

For my Social Justice event, I attended Woonsocket High School’s Festival Concert. Being alumni, I knew how this concert worked and was happy to go and support my fellow chorus members.

This concert consisted of Vocal Ensemble and Select Choir. Vocal Ensemble is open to anyone on the basis that the can attend Wednesday Night Rehearsals that last from 6:00-7:15 p.m. every Wednesday night. If they cannot attend these rehearsals then they would ultimately fail the course. For Select you must audition and if you make it in, the rehearsals are from 6:00-8:30 p.m. every Wednesday night.

Being at these concerts as an audience member is much different than being a performer. I was able to observe the dynamic of the both choirs and asses the similarities and differences while also drawing some observations.
            1.)    The choir was comprised mostly if not entirely of white ethnicity.
This struck me as odd because Woonsocket is a very diverse city and very similar to the statistics we see in Providence schools.
I connect this observation to Jonathan Kozol’s article about class and reinstitutionalizing a cycle of class suppression.
I also think this may be related to the socioeconomic class and Kozol’s essay because they have the resources to travel back and forth to night rehearsals. That may be that the parents have time after work to bring them or they can afford to have their own car. If not, the child has no way of participating in this class and if they ultimately sign up and do not attend, they will fail, all because they cannot get a ride to the school. This relates to Kozol because most parents are forced to work at those times of night or have other children they need to take care and unfortunately chorus and any other extracurricular is not on the top of their priority list, making ends meet and providing for their children are.

- In also thinking through this and asking why this may be, I came up with a connection to Delpit. Chorus, band, sports and all extracurricular activities are important. When you are a high school Junior, you are constantly being told, “Join as many as you can, it looks good on college applications!” It struck me that, maybe the white community of our school had the means to go to college and this is why the extracurricular was dominated by white ethnicity. I think this relates to Delpit because the kids in the choirs , actively participating are the ones who are going to write it down on their college application, with hopes to be accepted whereas the kids never given this opportunity (the rules and codes of power) to travel to and from extracurricular are not.

--However, looking at Choir and my experience in a more positive way, the choirs sang a vast array of music, ranging from classical to pop and from many time periods and many different languages.
I think this connects to Collier’s, Teaching Multilingual Children because the chorus director chose to teach the kids a different language while also integrating the context of the song. She gave the kids a way to connect cultures by singing. For this particular concert they sang a beautiful piece in Latin. And from personal experience, I have sang, French, Spanish, Latin and German in my time at WHS. I also know that the director gives a brief history on the culture before we learn how to properly articulate and connect with the piece. I think Virginia Collier would be proud with this particular example.

Unfortunately, I hadn't thought of video taping or taking pictures at the concert, but this is a video of Select Choir when I was in it, two years ago. As you can see, most of us are of white ethnicity. AND this song is in Latin! 

1 comment:

  1. Too bad your video didn't post! But great connections here.