This year, I got to attend a "Messiah-Sing" concert with my grandson Noah Cornwall's SOGO Academy orchestra playing for us. We went to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia for this concert. The Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO) advanced group accompanied the concert. My grandson plays the Viola and was pretty much hidden from my view during the concert. But, he was there right behind the conductor!
My brother Ben Lee (Tenor), my daughter Carolyn (Alto), her daughter Heidi (still deciding), and I (Soprano) sat together in the Tenor section. That was rather fun holding our own parts in amongst the Tenor singers. (We wanted to sit together!) It wasn't too hard for me because I basically had those few choruses they did memorized. But poor Heidi, age 13, had barely been exposed to singing "Messiah" before. So she was basically sight-singing or just listening trying to follow along. (No easy feat!) We had a great time singing together six of the most famous choruses and listening to four of the most popular solos. The concert was just one hour long.
The kids in the orchestra did a very good job. I was impressed by how SOGO operates. They practice and learn as a group, of course, but they also have experienced "Artists in Residence" interspersed to help them during rehearsals as well as the performance. (In the picture you can just see a few of the older players.) What a great experience for the students. I was so glad I was able to attend!