Annandale at Kennedy Center

The Annandale Singers perform for famous director of the a capella group: Talis Scholars


Kennedy Center stage where the Annandale Singers performed.

On Thursday, Nov. 27 the Annandale Singers went to the Kennedy Center to have a master class with a renowned director.

“A master class is when [someone] critiques us and helps us improve by giving tips and showing [us] the way experts do it,” junior Benjamin Betts said.

The director who listened to and critiqued them was Peter Phillips. He is the director of the Talis Scholars, which is the most renowned Renaissance a cappella group based in the United Kindom.

The Annandale Singers arrived at the Kennedy Center at around 10:00 a.m. and dressed in their concert uniforms and treated the master class exactly how they would treat any other performance or concert. The group performed at 11:00 a.m. and sang “O Magnum Mysterium,” a responsorial chant from the Matins of Christmas and “I Hear Thy Voice” by Susan LaBarr.

There were three other high schools attending this master class. The schools were West Springfield High School, DeMatha High School and Richard Montgomery High School. While one school was performing, the other three schools would listen and act as an audience to the school on stage. This gave all four of the high schools the atmosphere which was similar to that of a real concert. The same director critiqued and helped out all four of the high schools.

“For anyone, this is an extremely rare oppurtinity to impove our skills and sharpen our performance level overall,” junior Daniel Interiano said. “It’s not everyday that a world famous director takes time out of their busy schedule to critique a high school singing group.”

Although this is an uncommon occassion, the Annandale Singers hope to improve further and have another helpful experience like Thursday’s.

“I loved it and it was a really helpful experience for me and the group by showing us new ways to improve as a whole,” Betts said. “I would definitely want to repeat the day.”