By Kiara Amaya
The sound of singing voices in the D building comes from the school’s many diverse choirs. In the choir classroom, students take part in learning the universal language of music while building bonds that last a lifetime.
The school’s choir program consists of two show choirs (singing + choreography), two traditional choirs (singing music from all cultures and time periods), and two after-school a cappella groups (no musical accompaniment). Students in all classes perform, learn how to read music, learn about proper singing techniques in several genres, and work to create strong bonded teams within each of the ensembles/groups.
“The students learn the universal language of music, opening doors for expression and honing the type of reading and processing skills that benefit all areas of study. Our work dives into the passions and poetries of musical texts and subtexts, exploring what it means to be human over and across any boundary,” choir director Dr. Desiree Balfour said.
The multitude of program choices allows for all levels of students to take part in a visual and performing arts (VAPA) class that will teach valuable life skills. Of the two traditional choirs, Concert Choir is the closest to an intro course, and Honors Choir is more advanced. Of the two show choirs, Here Comes Treble and G-Notes, the audition process is a bit more rigorous for G-Notes. The a cappella groups, Happily Ever After and Once Upon a Time, are in part led by students, though they also work with a vocal coach. One is a co-ed ensemble and one is only treble (higher) voices.
The choir program is currently working on exciting events to look forward to.
“We are currently preparing for our Fall/Winter Concert which will be live-streamed from Highlander Hall on December 2 at 7 p.m. Next semester we will also participate in various competitions and festivals,” Dr. Balfour said.
Additionally, each ensemble will perform two to four pieces at the December concert. The theme for the show choirs this year is “Freedom!” There will be live accompaniment featuring guitar, bass, piano, and drums.
“A new choreographer this year is giving a fresh new look to our choreography,” Dr. Balfour said.
Many of the songs that are going to be performed come from well known artists such as Beyoncé, BTS, and Coldplay. The Honors Choir is performing pieces in Spanish, English, and Latin. The singers are all brimming with excitement about their love of making music. The Concert Choir is singing three gorgeous pieces having to do with light (glowing stars and fireflies).
“I’ve been in show choir since my sophomore year, and it’s always been my happy place and escape. It’s great being around people who love doing what I love doing,” senior in G-Notes Melina Hernandez said.
Students that are a part of the choir present an undeniable love for the program and the experiences it provides
“I chose to be in choir because I enjoy learning new techniques and being able to grow as a singer. Singing for me is a relief from daily stress and it makes me feel so happy. The thing I love most about choir is that it’s just a very welcoming and loving environment that feels like a family,” sophomore in Honors Choir Carmen Ascendio said.
These memorable experiences build both skill and bonds that go on way beyond the classroom. Through working together the students involved grow into a family that connects through innovation, creativity, and unforgettable moments.