Hochstein Youth Singers hold Barnyard Sing

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

The Hochstein Youth Singers’ year got underway with a Barnyard Sing at director Maryellen Giese’s farm — with everyone masked and properly distanced so they could sing together.

Twenty-five students came to pick up their music folders. Both ensembles, HYS and the older Hochstein Singers students, are working on social justice repertoire this year. 

“HYS is working on a get out the vote song and ‘Amazing Grace,’” Giese said. “Hochstein Singers are also working on a piece from ‘Hamilton,’ and one from Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

The day was all about being together, meeting the new singers, and seeing and interacting with each other in person. Stones placed 10-12 feet apart marked where each singer should stand.

As the groups ran through the new pieces with Giese and accompanist Yasuko Kelly, they worked on developing the ensemble sound, as that’s something that’s harder to do online. 

HYS rehearsals this year will be online, concentrating on improving vocal independence, individual presentation and sight-reading skills. The groups will have a recording or two to share as the semester progresses.

Also working with the students this year are intern Alex Nick, a junior vocal performance/music education major at Eastman, and Hochstein alum Jon Madden.

Madden, a Fairport native, is a former Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra cellist and conductor apprentice who recently graduated as a composition major from St. Olaf College. He will work on sight-reading and music theory instruction with the advanced Hochstein Singers.

The Hochstein Youth Singers attend a Barnyard Sing at director Maryelle Giese’s farm.