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The Production

UNDERSTANDING WHAT GOES ON IN CHOIR CLASS

Choir+students+working+on+the+production+of+their+La+La+Land+video+collaboration
Choir students working on the production of their La La Land video collaboration

Choir students working on the production of their La La Land video collaboration

Choir students working on the production of their La La Land video collaboration

Arielle Santos and Jeremy Nuno

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For students interested in becoming better vocalists, choir class is the perfect place to do so! Two reporters observed what goes on over several days to give an inside look into everything that happens in a choir class.

After the class gets settled and has chatted for a bit, Mr. Andrew Bearden makes his way to the piano. He leads the 15 different warm ups with only the piano. The warm ups are mostly just vocal but they do include some physical stretches. The warm ups start with humming, then follow with some vowel sounds and phrases that help improve students’ enunciation. They do scales, solfeges, and other things to open their tones and diaphragms.  The exercises are followed by practicing songs for whatever project they’re working on.

Mr. Bearden’s 5th period choir class is organized by vocal groups, which are determined by the students themselves and confirmed by Mr. Bearden. The vocal groups include (from highest to lowest notes) soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass. Altos are usually girls, but can be guys who can sing high. Baritones are guys who can sing both high and low. The class’s seating chart is arranged with sopranos in the first row, altos second, tenors and baritones third, and bass in the back.

Students in 5th period choir all agree that their class size negatively affects their ability to learn efficiently, but the other high school choir classes don’t really face this issue as their classes are smaller. However, they look past this setback because, as vocal majors or students who would like to enrich their vocal abilities, they enjoy having the opportunity to  improve their skills and explore new songs they never would have thought of singing themselves. Sophomore Jordan Goring tells us, “My favorite part of this class is learning how to sing songs in different languages because I was not that experienced with classical music and so we started doing arias and we started singing in Italian and German.” After discovering new things about her vocal ability she adds that her smooth, smoky voice is why she enjoys singing jazz songs. Senior Nate Ferguson says his favorite part of the class is being able to showcase his individual ability through solos. The choir classes are given the opportunity to do solos through juries where each person gets their own song and has Mr. Bearden plays the piano sheet music and then they’re graded for it. Their first jury occurred during the fall  semester: the second was specifically for jazz songs, where Bearden chose their song for them. They may have their final jury sometime in June.

At the time of the interviews, the classes were preparing for their 80s concert and were working on a collaboration with the video, band, and dance departments. Their 80s concert took place on June 2nd, and Mr. Bearden also had an audition process for solos in the songs. He stressed that all soloists were to not forget any lyrics or else they would be “useless,” and that he would not settle for less than greatness because a main stage show should have main stage show expectations. They also have finished showcasing their work at a choir sharing that took place on April 10th, during lunch, in CR1. Bearden says the purpose of this sharing was because his high school choir classes wanted the chance to perform and share what they’ve been practicing, and a Spring concert was never scheduled.

Overall, choir class is a great place to find opportunities to showcase your talent and to discover new things about your singing voice, as well as find ways to improve it.

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UNDERSTANDING WHAT GOES ON IN CHOIR CLASS