The Sound Of Music

Varsity Women’s Choir Competes, Performs Following a Year Off

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Rowan Rodriguez

Dressed in their performance attire, Varsity Women’s Choir smiles for the camera at their choir concert. The fall concert took place in the PAC on Oct. 7, where all choirs performed. “Choir is all about teamwork,” sophomore Emily Mincemoyer said. “So it is important that you don’t stand out from everyone else in your group. We all have to wear the same outfits and jewelry.”

Penelope Moreno, Reporter

Choir welcomes new freshmen and sophomores as they join the program at school as opposed to the past year on Zoom. Varsity Women’s Choir continues to participate in competitions and perform concerts after a year off of in-person school.

This year, choir students are all in-person, where as before, everyone was in online school. Last year, all of the choir competed in virtual concerts. A virtual concert entailed virtual students sending in a video of their own singing. Then, every video submitted was strung together to create a song. As last year progressed, in-person students made a song in which they performed on the pack while virtual students continued with virtual concerts.

“Choir has been a little difficult this year,” sophomore Emily Mincemoyer said. “Since I did not get a full year of choir last year. Even though I am a sophomore on varsity, there have been countless times where I do not know what to do, or where to go because I had never done it before.”

Senior choir members are excited to continue their choir career in person while they finish their four-year journey through high school. They continue to lead the choir program while competing in high-level competitions. 

“Choir is so much more fun now that I get to be in person with all of my friends,” Senior Isabella Rios said. “What I’ll miss most about choir is the community. Everyone including the teachers are incredibly sweet. It’s a little bittersweet, I’m going to miss the environment so much.”

Most students have reported to have not been able to achieve the ‘high school experience’ due to the pandemic. Sophomore and freshmen are only able to compare the level of intensity of choir now to their experience in choir in middle school. 

“Choir is extremely different in middle school,” Mincemoyer said. “In middle school, it was more laid back. Concert etiquette is so much more strict in high school compared to middle school. Choir is all about teamwork and so it is important that you don’t stand out from everyone one else in your group, we all have to wear the same outfits, jewelry, etc. Versus in middle school, you kind of just showed up in your dress and flats.”

Every choir student is given the option of wearing a mask, and take precautions in order to stay safe. The choir directors always stand away from the students just for their safety and the choir students. Especially for choir students, wearing a mask can be difficult because breathing through a mask is challenging, let alone singing in one, according to Mincemoyer. Everyone is able to choose what they are most comfortable with whether it is to wear a mask or not.

“The main COVID regulation that affects me is wearing a mask while we perform,” Mincemoyer said. “I wear my mask whenever I can, but it is difficult to sing and be able to breathe effectively while wearing a mask. Of course, there is an option to not wear a mask during a concert, which I take because I would not be able to sing to my full potential while wearing one, simply because I would not be able to get enough air, or take deep enough breaths.”

Being apart for a year has had both negatives and positives. Students are able to cherish the memories they make now and bond as a community. Choir has been brought together by COVID, although faced with challenges as a program they continue to perform and compete in concerts.

“I feel like there is more of a community aspect,” junior Miranda Moser said. “Just because we were apart for a year and everyone is excited to be back together. When I was a freshman, it was the year before COVID started, so when we went for spring break COVID began. I had choir for a year in person and online. Starting as a freshman was fun, as you progress through the program I feel you are included more in the community, and there are a lot of opportunities to participate.”

Choir just recently performed in a competition called Region. Region is a competition, in which many different schools compete with their varsity choirs in order to get accepted into the Region choir. All choir students had to audition to be in a Region choir. The audition process starts with a choir student singing specific sections from their choir’s music and perform alone in front of a group of judges. If a student is accepted into the Region choir, they are able to perform with all the other students that passed the audition process, in a concert. Choir students can also advance to a more competitive competition called is All-state. Similarly, All-state has an audition process but has new songs, and choir students are required to sight-read the music they are given.

“We just had our Region audition process happen,” Moser said. “Where we had the most choir students in our region advance to Region choir. Forty-nine choir members made it into the Region choir and we had forty advance to All-state, which is the best we’ve ever done in past years.”

As choir progresses, all of the members continue to bond and compete together as a program. They continue to set high goals for the program and each other, so they can continue to improve throughout the year.

“I love getting to connect with everyone,” junior Charlotte Newton said. “Last year, no one knew each other but now that we are all sitting next to each other and working with each other it is a lot easier to make those connections that everyone loves in choir. As a program, I really hope this year that everyone feels included to ignite choir to what it was before COVID-19.”