On May 3, eighth and ninth grade varsity chorus members will be performing for their spring concert.
Choral director and teacher Jessica Connell has been preparing the students for their concert. Students have a period of chorus everyday. Eighth grade has it first or fifth period, and ninth grade has it third or fourth period.
“In chorus class, we spend a lot of time on sight singing skills which helps students learn to read music. Because of this, students learn their concert music much faster than they would otherwise,” Connell said.
The students learn how to read music better. Ninth graders Luke Rokosky and Khloe Stoltenberg participate in chorus and vocal ensemble.
“Sight Singing makes it easier to move on to more complex pieces of music, and it helps us get farther along,” Stoltenberg said.
Almost all of the ninth grade students are in their third year of chorus with Connell. This will be their sixth concert of junior high and their last one with Connell.
“The students in ninth grade have made much progress since the first day of seventh grade chorus. Their voices are naturally more mature, but their vocal technique as a group is very good. This comes from a lot of practice and hard work. I am very proud of all of them,” Connell said.
The students sing pieces such as “Come Travel With Me,” “Plaudite,” “Tuimbe,” Baloo Baleerie,” “Call Me Friend,” and pieces from “The Greatest Showman” – “This Is Me,” and “From Now On.”
“I am always very well prepared for the concerts. Class has been teaching us how to sight sing so we can figure it [the music] out on our own,” Rokosky said.
The students prepare for the concert everyday which will benefit them to remember at the concert.
“She [Connell] is extremely helpful. She always is willing to help her students learn and improve in singing and learning music,” Stoltenberg said.
“She is awesome,” Rokosky said.
Besides practicing in class, the students will have two two-hour rehearsals at the high school in preparation to know where to stand and to get the group together as a whole. According to Connell, she enjoys hearing the blend of the students’ voices together.
This story was originally published on Livewire on April 25, 2019.