CUMBERLAND – Cumberland High School's Clipper Chorus and Clef Singers, under the leadership of choral director, Amanda Santo, have both received Superior rankings at the annual High School Choral Festival, co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Music Educators Association and the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. While the pandemic had halted the choral festival, which has not occurred since 2019, the choirs at Cumberland High School have returned to the stage with strong performances.
A Superior ranking is the highest award given at the three-day adjudicated event. In past years, choirs from high schools across the state would come together in one location to perform for each other, work with a master clinician, and receive their scoring and ranking. This year, the adjudicators traveled between schools to hear the nearly two dozen choral ensembles taking part. Both of the CHS ensembles performed a variety of challenging music. The CHS Clipper Chorus performed three pieces in the competition: Set Me As a Seal (Clausen), Rosas Pandan (Hernandez), and Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal (Parker/Shaw). The CHS Clef Singers also performed three pieces: Autumn Leaves (Carter), Daemon irrepit calidus (Orban), and Dúlamán (Mooney). Judges base their scores and rankings on a variety of factors which include musical selections, balance and blend, tone quality, articulation and diction, and presentation.
There are 60 students who performed with the Clipper Chorus and 33 with the Clef Singers. The group is hoping to attend a national choral festival next year in April, pending approval and fundraising initiatives. The group's next performance will be on Thursday, May 19th at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Dapper Auditorium at Cumberland High School. This performance is open to the public and will benefit the Nectar Lennox Memorial Music Scholarship.