Choral Accomplishments

  • There are 5 choral groups, 4 that take place as regular classes and one extra-curricular vocal jazz ensemble. They have performed for St. Paul Public School Staff Rally, VH1, the Saint Paul City Council, The Ordway Music Theatre's World Party, KTCA's News Night Minnesota, Boy Scouts Indianhead Council Annual Meeting, Saint Paul Public School's Volunteer Recognition Picnic, the Association of Community Education Administrators, in coffee houses, the inaugural event for the Center for Excellence in Children's Mental Health, as pre-concert entertainment for VocalEssence, at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral and St. Patrick's Catholic Cathedral in New York City, as cruise ship entertainment, and at the North Texas Jazz Festival and for many SPPS middle schools. In February, 2005, members of the two select ensembles sang at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City in a performance of spirituals celebrating Black History Month with the New England Symphonic Ensemble under the direction of Lawrence Burnett. Singers from Concert Choir and Donna di Cantare will be returned to perform at Carnegie Hall in November, 2006, singing under the baton of Dr. Patrick Liebergen, University of Wisconsin, Stout.  Once again Carnegie Hall will host a performance of Como's singers on March 15, 2010 directed by the world famous John Rutter.
    The Como Park choirs and Minnesota Chorale have had an extremely successful partnership since 1996, providing Chorale singers to work with and perform for and with the students and bringing the students to rehearsals and performances of the Chorale. 2006-07 saw an additional component to the partnership. The Chorale used the stories of Habitat for Humanity home owners and using student writers from CPSHS to write text for songs performed in May, 2007
    In 2002, a partnership was formed with VocalEssence, “Meet the Composer's” Cary John Franklin, Como Park High School, Minnetonka High School and Red Wing High School to provide commissioned works for those students and an opportunity for the students to work together on the Voices of Tomorrow choral festival. They performed with VocalEssence under the direction of Philip Brunelle at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis in a concert culminating an inspiring and education 3 year partnership that provided a composer-in-residence, Cary John Franklin, who composed numerous pieces for Como's choirs. Here is an excerpt of a review by Seen and Heard International of Como's work:

    "Each school presented three works, including one by Franklin. The Como Park High School Concert Choir made a striking beginning with a traditional Dona Nobis Pacem, here intoned slightly in the background, while one of the group's young men read a poem by Elizabeth Wright, “Do You Not Hear the Cries?” with sober conviction. The Como Park group spaced themselves apart onstage, a risky maneuver since it affects how well the singers can hear each other (and stay in tune), but I am pleased to report that they succeeded, and more so. Under the dedicated direction of Carole Whitney, these fine young musicians might have bettered some professional ensembles, and indeed, the same comment could apply to the other schools. Como Park finished with Kurt Bestor's moving Prayer of the Children and Franklin's Listen!, the latter with some intriguing chord progressions that distinguished all of his works."