Courtesy of Nick Briggs and Kristy Andrews
The Cantabile Youth Singers has 13 seniors graduating this year. Front row, from left: Ryan Chen, Katherine Wei, Josephine Jorgensen, Sophie Dewees and Jessica Carlson. Middle: Samantha Sasaki, Jennifer Jackson, Jerry Zhang and Karuna Dharan. Back: Ninaad Raman, Celia Malone, Ananya Saxena and Elanor Diffenbaugh.
When Elena Sharkova, artistic and managing director of the Los Altos-based chorus Cantabile Youth Singers, noticed that her students seemed exhausted and disconnected coming to rehearsals, she decided to remove all of the chairs from every rehearsal room. Instead, singers can sit on the floor if needed, but Sharkova said they rarely do.
“They constantly explore and learn music with movement, so if they sing a line, they are encouraged – and now really cannot even do it without actually moving with the line,” she said. “It’s music, movement and mindfulness. If you look at the line, how it actually looks in the air, you will be a much better singer because you’re engaging everything.”