Ms Tyrrell’s Chamber Choir has been a constant highlight of musical brilliance over the past eight years. Although she continues to coordinate and direct several choirs within the School, and has done over her 16-year career at Shawnigan, this small group of senior singers are something special. Whenever they gather together in the Chapel or other important venues, the audience is transported by the beautiful sound of their combined voices and struck by the closeness this group seems to develop over the many hours spent in rehearsal. A constant of the Shawnigan program, this group has been as large as 20 and as intimate as five over time, but regardless of size, Ms Tyrrell manages to mine the talent available to produce a perfect harmony.
This year’s Chamber Choir (PentaShawnix) has just recorded a song on-line as a gift to the graduating class of 2020. With help from Mr. Trafford and Mr. Smith, the recording is a beautiful reminder of the commitment between students and teachers at Shawnigan, even during our most difficult times.
When asked about the Choir and their Director, graduating choir students had so much to say. Here are a few pieces of their enthusiasm:
“I find being in a choir to be very empowering as it is a place in which you meet amazing people and work as an ultimate team. Creating and learning music together is truly magical. Over the past two years, Ms T has been an incredible power behind not only choir, but life! She is so caring and hardworking, even on our off days, and I am very thankful to have had her as a mentor during my time at Shawnigan. She has helped so many people discover or uncover their passion for music and is undeniably dedicated to the arts.” – Kathleen H.
“Being in the choir has inspired me to be more confident in public performances of any form. Ms Tyrrell's leadership style is extremely friendly and meaningful. We all feel very cared for, and she treats everyone with her full attention and effort. I think it makes the environment of our choir a very safe and comforting space, which is the best atmosphere for such an expressive activity. When we began to think about doing an online production, the hardest part was figuring out how we could record it while we were so far apart – the sound delays of zoom would make it impossible to make it simultaneous in a call. Thanks to the hard work done by Ms T and Mr. Trafford, the process of recording the last pieces was very intuitive and easy. As it was a song we were already practicing before the quarantine, it was reasonably easy to get it down for recording.” – Gou L.
“Chamber Choir is a group where everyone works 100 percent of the time. You can really see how much everyone loves the choir and we are all really close, so if any of us are having a bad day, someone in the group can always lift your spirits. Being able to sing with other hardworking individuals is a joy! Ms T is absolutely amazing. She really wants you to succeed in the choir, she also wants to challenge you so that you can learn multiple parts or harmonies in order to understand the choir as a whole, which always benefits us in the long term. Ms T can always tell if something is off with you and she always takes on a motherly persona and makes sure you are alright and really cares for you. For me, the main goal of the choir is to not only make us happy and satisfied, but make Ms T proud!” – Kylie K.
“Although I've been a part of Shawnigan Choirs for the last four years, my last two as a member of the Chamber Choir have been particularly meaningful. Ms Tyrrell is an outstanding teacher who always challenges us as performers and as people. I often think of her as a second mother in her understanding and support of us as young adults: still figuring out the many, sometimes overwhelming, facets of life. She goes above and beyond for her students and it truly shows in the quality of the performances she delivers through this very special group. We have taken on a great challenge by attempting to overcome the difficulties of performing as a digital choir. Without the generous time and dedication of both Ms T and Mr. Trafford, this wouldn't have ever been possible. For me, being a part of a choir has never felt like work or obligation. It brings me so much joy and passion to collaborate with others, and if we're able to do that through music.... Now, that's just a recipe to delight!” – Spencer N.
Spencer is right! Please watch the Chamber Choir’s special online project below: A Gift to the Graduates of 2020.