Ramona’s Visual & Performing Arts Spotlight: Music “The Ballad of the Sussy Squirrel” Fantasia Chorale

Every year Ramona Convent’s choral ensembles learn and perform a 17th- or 18th-century Italian aria, assigned as a way to teach unison singing, proper vowel and consonant placement, and other vocal pedagogy basics. Ms. Ballenger says “The repertoire is great for these lessons, but the lyrics tend to be overwrought, melodramatic texts about broken romances, abandonment, and other emo stuff.

So, sometimes Ramona Students write its lyrics in class to make the songs more relevant to 21st-century teenagers. The students choose the subjects and the narratives, and with a little help from me to assist with proper music/lyric accents and other important musical ideas, they write their own songs.” Each class made a quick video performing their song.

Fantasia Chorale – The Ballad of the Sussy Squirrel (video shown above)

This is the brilliant re-telling of the epic struggle between a Ramona girl and a squirrel. Based on a true story, the Fantasia Chorale of 2021-22 have taken the Italian art song “Se non piange un infelice” and brought the melodrama into the 21st century.

Ramona Convent is a welcoming Catholic college-prep high school for young women committed to excellence in education. Ramona’s graduates are empowered, resilient, socially conscious leaders well prepared to meet the challenges of life as contributive members of the global community with the strength of a legacy of more than 130 years of distinction.

Ramona Convent Secondary School, 1701 W. Ramona Rd, Alhambra, CA 91803, (626) 282-4151 or visit www.ramonaconvent.org.




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