This weekend, the Jackson Symphony rounds out their season with a concert of two B’s: Bernstein and Beethoven. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley went to Jackson to attend the first rehearsal, and while there, met a very honest 10 year-old boy soprano.
JAMIE PAISLEY: It’s Wednesday night and after a small break, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra rehearsal with Dr. Matthew Aubin is about ready to start again. They continue by launching into one of the most famous melodies of all time. It’s a New Year’s tradition in Japan, for the European Union, it is their anthem: Beethoven’s 'Ode To Joy,' the finale to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
[Portion of Jackson Symphony rehearsing the finale of Beethoven's 9th Symphony]
PAISLEY: For this rehearsal we're at right now, the choir is not right here, but have you attended? How have you kind of worked in tandem with them?
DR. MATTHEW AUBIN: I started the beginning of April. I think I've been to each choir once, at least once, and then we did a combined rehearsal a little over a week ago over at Hillsdale. And they're doing fantastic. It's going to be pretty powerful. 201 voices on stage.
PAISLEY: For the pairing of this, how does the second half with the 'Ode to Joy' and the Beethoven 9[th Symphony] pair with Chichester Psalms?
AUBIN: Well, of course, this being our Bernstein season and having this large choir, well, this is a great work. Chichester Psalms is one of my favorite works. I works really well that way, it also, it's a nice length. We don't have a ton of rehearsal time. We only have three two-and-a-half hour reherasals. You know, lots of reasons, but those are a couple of them.
PAISLEY: Tell me about the soloist for the Chichester...
AUBIN: Mason Valdivia is the son of one of the choir members who's actually singing the soprano solo, and Mason is 10 years old, he's right here, from Jackson and he's part of a Peter Pan production that Center Stage Jackson is doing right now. We've got three big goals: He's going to take some big breaths, and try to sing to the back of the room, and just watch a little bit of intonation, because when you sing a little louder then it goes a little higher. And he's learning all of that.
[Audio of Mason Valdivia rehearsing Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the Jackson Symphony]
PAISLEY: The Jackson Symphony there applauding their 10 year old soloist for Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at the Potter Center tht is weekend, young Mr. Valdivia, but when I talked with him just outside of rehearsal, you can just call him…
MASON VALDIVIA: Mason
PAISLEY: How often have you sung and practiced this?
VALDIVIA: Well, like, usually every, like, other day. Practice it twice with my mom.
PAISLEY: This is very different from Peter Pan, too.
VALDIVIA: [Chuckles] Yes.
PAISLEY: Do you like it though still, even though it's different?
VALDIVIA: Well, I mean, it's okay. But I'd rather do, like, other, but I can do it.
[Audio of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra rehearsing Bernstein's Chichester Psalms] PAISLEY: Dr. Matthew Aubin and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra end their Leonard Bernstein Centenary Season at Jackson’s Potter Center on Saturday, April 27th with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms featuring the Jackson Michigan Chorale, Hillsdale College Choir, and Spring Arbor University Choir, and the 10-year-old soloist Mason Valdivia. More information at JacksonSymphony.org.
Note: The Jackson Symphony is an underwriter of WKAR.