Minnesota Student Choirs to Sing Original Music in World Premiere

Updated: 05/20/2014 10:32 AM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz

Young singers around the Twin Cities metro are tuning up their voices for a musical world premiere at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

On Tuesday, seven local student choirs will perform pieces written for them by composers from Mexico City. Those composers are in Minnesota this week working with students ahead of the show.

"For José to come and work with us, I think that's such an honor and I can't imagine how else to end my senior year," said Eagan High School senior Brianna Hedeman.

Popular Mexican composer José Galván visited the concert choir at Eagan High School Friday morning. Galván wrote a song for the choir called "Creo," or "I Believe."

"They sing great, they sing great, they have the gift," Galván said.

"Throughout rehearsals, José came and visited us and we actually met him. And through rehearsals we've been changing and tweaking things," Hedeman said.

The program, called ¡Cantaré!, was organized by Minnesota vocal music ensemble VocalEssence.

The music started last year when composers José Galván and Pamela Mayorga Téllez came to the Twin Cities to meet their young choirs. After listening, they returned to Mexico City to write the music.

"I began to think about the power of this singing, and I wrote this song for them, especially for them," Galván said.

"Having the composer in the room and knowing that it came out of his thoughts and his feelings, and that he put it on paper for them, that's something that really resonates," said Eagan Choral Director Randy Schafer.

Part of the reason the students say they feel connected to the music is because of the lyrics.

"The lyrics go on to say, I believe in the power of music, and how it can influence us," Hedeman said.

"This is what singing means, what music means, it brings everyone together," said Eagan High School Junior Ihra Gomez.

"It's magic, for me it's magic," Galván said.

The concert on Tuesday, May 20 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are free.

Students from Whittier Elementary School, Mississippi Creative Arts Magnet, Beacon Academy Charter School, The Latino Children's Choir, South High School, Anoka High School and Eagan High School will perform.