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Fall Concert Displays Growth in Choir Program

Alongside+other+seniors%2C+Cordell+Foulk+%2719+sings+%22The+Lord+Bless+You+and+Keep+You%22+at+the+end+of+the+concert.+
Alongside other seniors, Cordell Foulk '19 sings

Alongside other seniors, Cordell Foulk '19 sings "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" at the end of the concert.

Jessica Song

Jessica Song

Alongside other seniors, Cordell Foulk '19 sings "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" at the end of the concert.

By Bailey Armosky, Westwood High School

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Now one group larger, head director Mr. Andre Clark and assistant director Ms. Jennifer Alexander were excited to show the growth and talent of the choir program at the Fall Concert on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Hope Presbyterian Church.  

“The first concert is usually a good marker for how the rest of the year is going to go and I think we are still in that rebuilding stage with new directors and new leadership,” Co-President Sophia Norton ‘19 said, “so finding a good place to settle in and have a good concert is very important.”

While the previous year did not have a stand-alone men’s choir, this year Mr. Clark proudly showed off the Concert Men’s group with 31 members, mostly consisting of freshman. The growth in numbers comes directly from the choir program at Canyon Vista Middle School, where it has flourished more than ever before.

“It’s really exciting having guys in choir and it’s not something you usually see because choir is not necessarily cool in high school, but it’s awesome to see all of these guys following what they want to do and having fun with their passion.” Co-President Pooja Enagala ‘19 said.

The concert had a heightened energy due to a mix of traditional choral music and folk songs like Dancing-Song, sung by Varsity Women; Niska Banja, sung by Concert Women; Tantsulaul, sung by Concert Men; and Shenandoah, sung by Chamber Choir. Many of these songs were sung acapella and allowed the choirs’ vocal talent to be on full display.

“I’m in two choirs, so for Varsity Women I thought we did really well on Flight Song after being unsure in rehearsal,” Sarah Sherwood ‘20 said. “For Chamber, Shenandoah was so pretty and I almost started crying because my aunt was sitting in the front row and as soon as we finished I saw her wiping her tears and it was amazing.”

Since his first day as Head Choir Director, Mr. Clark has had a focus on tradition and the way it can bring the choir program closer to create a unified group. The group song Ay Ay Ay is an old tradition that for the past few years has not been incorporated into concerts, but for the Fall Concert, everyone in the program went on stage to sing it before The Lord Bless You And Keep You, which is performed at all choir concerts.

“The first time I sang Ay Ay Ay at choir camp I loved it because each voice part comes in and builds on top of the previous one,” Sohan Agnihotri ‘21 said. “So it was really fun at the end when we sang as one giant choir, and [saw] how all the hard work that we did paid off into one final performance.”

The growth of the choir program is reflected in the new team of over 20 choir officers, the addition of section leaders to the officer team, and the constant support from every choir during class, rehearsals, and concerts.

“I think some of our main goal going into the concert was probably to feel that sense of unity that you get from singing with your choir, it’s one of the most important things I’ve learned from choir,” Enagala said. “The most important thing I’ve gotten from choir is the family and finding that sense of family is usually something that happens around the first concert.”

This story was originally published on Westwood Horizon on September 26, 2018.

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