Choir Sings Holiday Hymns in Winter Concert

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  • Varsity women prepares to sing their next song, “There is No Rose”.

  • Zymee Chowdhury ’19 sings along with the Chamber Choir.

  • Alexis Lemus ’18 laughs as she introduces the next choir.

  • Hao Cui ’18, Dhruva Mambapoor ’18, Neal Gandhi ’18, Osric Nagle’18, and John McGuire 18 dance to “Jamaican Noel”.

  • Nisha Desai ’18, Rebekah Farris ’19, Martha Beaty ’18, and Sophia Norton ’19 snap to “Jamaican Noel”.

  • Head Director Andre Clark welcomes all choir alumni to go on stage to join them for the last two songs.

  • Alexis Lemus ’18 helps Christian Smith ’18 fix his collar.

  • Parthavi Matalia ’18 thanks the directors.

  • Students and choir alumni hold hands as they sing the last song of the night.

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The choir held its annual Winter Concert on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Hope Presbyterian Church. All of the choir groups performed their own separate pieces and concluded the concert with a performance all together.

“When we were first learning these songs I was lost, especially on our more complicated pieces where we had to sight read everything and fill in the words,” Zymee Chowdhury ‘19 said. “Now I feel confident and especially having the audience in front of you, it kind of makes everything run more smoothly.”

Each class performed songs relating to the Christmas time, including There’s Still My Joy, sung by Select Women; Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, sung by Concert Mixed; Gaudete! Gaudete!, sung by Varsity Women; The Snow, sung by Varsity and Chamber Women; Jamaican Noel, sung by Chamber Choir; and Carol of the Bells, sung by all of the choirs combined.

“All the groups were so good and everyone did really well, especially Tiny Little Baby,” Michelle Li ‘20 said. “It’s super fun to hear every single year, especially since they have those solos for everyone, where one person sings and everyone’s in the background.”

Even though some of these students had performed multiple times in front of large audiences for previous concerts and had practiced these songs during class, some were intimidated by the audience and nervous about messing up.

“I would say this time was more nervous for some reason because in Tiny Little Baby and I messed up quite a few times, kind of, [but] I recovered,” Hao Cui ‘18 said. “And then during the last song my hand was like shaking and I was like ‘why is my hand shaking?’”

Many students in choir have been performing ever since they were in middle school and  have carried out with their singing journey. Their parents have been watching their children go to all of their concerts and attended this winter concert to watch their child put in their effort to make the concert the best they could.

“I’ve been in choir since pretty much since I could sing, so like it’s kind of a normal occurrence [having my family attend],” Sarah Sherwood ‘20 said. “But, it’s always nice to have them come to a holiday concert where they might know some songs.”

To prepare for the concert, the students did not have full-blown rehearsals. Instead, they used their class times to practice and drill the songs. However, for the song, The Snow, Varsity and Chamber girls came in early on the Friday before the concert to practice together for the first time.

“We hadn’t rehearsed the group songs together until this very day so it was so cool actually hearing the songs come together,” Juhie Gurpur ‘18 said. “In Ose Shalom especially, I didn’t know how this song was suppose to go and then you hear it with the guys and the great voices in the other choirs all coming together and it’s really cool.”

After the concert, the audience roared and the students were relieved that it was over. The new Head Choral Director, Mr. Andre Clark, who was previously the head director at Stony Point High School. He had helped his students work on the many songs they learned and enjoyed teaching them the new music.

“They are a daunting group a kids from the outside looking in but the reality is there has never been a group of kids that I’ve enjoyed watching them create music that I’ve ever taught,” Mr. Clark said. “There were some challenges because we didn’t have a real long time to work, but considering all they had to learn in the amount of time they had, they’re just natural musicians and exceeded expectations.”