It is said that music is a universal language. Tuesday, that theory was put to the test.
The ensemble Basiani choir, from the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Republic of Georgia, performed for students at Mascoma Regional High School.
"It is not like were are trying to comprehend the words. We are just learning the words and the syllables and learning the notes and the rhythms and it is really fun," said Sam Jones, a junior.
"I was in a pretty bad mood before, so it really cheered me up a lot," said Emily Russell, a junior.
Only one member of the12-person group speaks English. And even then--there are challenges.
The choir is well known throughout Europe and has performed in more than 20 countries, though most settings probably not as intimate as a Mascoma classroom.
"Sharing the world's music to each other, especially for musicians, I think it is very important," said ensemble member Zurab Tskrialashvili.
"If you are stuck with one kind of music forever, it's the same thing as seeing one color. If everything is just blue then that is all you are going to know," Emily Russell said.
The students then gave a quick concert of their own, performing Ave Maria in Latin -- an experience Music Director David Wilson says is meant to inspire. "There is nothing like seeing a group live," he added.
Wilson said it's also meant to highlight the performing arts, especially for young men who are far outnumbered in the choir. "They are exposed to it all the time. It's just a matter of getting that confidence level up and saying, 'Well, I would like to try it too,'" he said.
Finally, after several rehearsals, the two choirs performed as one. The words--not easy to understand, but the meaning, the power of music --heard loud and clear.
"It is an amazing experience, it's a lot of fun and I don't know why someone would not be into it," Sam Jones said.
The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth helped put on Tuesday's performance as part of its Visiting Performing Artists Series. The group will be holding a concert for the public at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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