Choir Students Sing at Vertical Concert

By Keana Saberi, Reporter

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  • Choirs from Anderson Mill, Canyon Creek, and Caraway Elementary perform on stage.

  • Singers in the Canyon Vista and and Grisham choirs bond while warming up with Westwood.

  • Games during the concert warm ups help break the ice between the choristers from different schools.

  • Sarah Sherwood and Katya Lopez stand in in a circle with other singers before the concert.

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On Thursday, Nov. 7, the choir program held their annual Vertical concert at the Raymond E. Hartfield Performing Arts Center. Chamber choir, Varsity Women, Chorale and the Concert Men’s choir were joined by several of the school district’s elementary schools along with Grisham and Canyon Vista Middle School. The concert was an opportunity for younger students to sing alongside our choir program and feel welcomed into our choir family.

“Being a senior,  the vertical concert is an experience that is very important to my heart, because it is how we influence who will be the[new] generation of choir students,” Katya Lopez ‘20 said.

The concert commenced with the elementary students from Caraway, Laurel Mountain, and Spicewood performing There’s a Song in Me, a sweet and lifting piece. Next, Anderson Mill, Purple Sage, and Canyon Creek performed A Song of Peace followed by all the elementary school choirs giving an energetic and lively performance of American Everyday. Canyon Vista and Grisham’s Tenor-bass choirs performed Vive L’ Amour and the combined treble choirs performed Night Winds.  

“This event got to help all of the choirs understand how connected we are despite us not being together. I, personally, had a lot of fun and felt as though I had a great opportunity to see the future of many different choir programs,” Caleb Canizalez ‘21 said. “By seeing this I feel assured that with every year our choir will keep getting better and better.”

Afterwards, Varsity Women took to the stage and sang You Are My Song, a gorgeously melodic song composed by Vandergrift Choir Director Michael Zook which was also performed earlier at this year’s fall concert.  The beautiful vocals are paired with the sincere lyrics of the song. Chamber choir sang Unclouded Day, an intricate song with many voice parts conveying a hopeful and bright tone. Hard Times, a powerful song was sung by the combined male choirs from our school along with the Canyon Vista and Grisham choirs.

“I enjoyed being able to connect with the younger kids over something like music and to help influence them to join the program in high school. As well as to work a little with the elementary school kids and show them what our program is really about,” Jake Davis ‘22 said.

Next, the combined women choir members sang Never One Thing, an empowered song that crescendoed and blended harmonically, with lyrics highlighting female strength and the ability to exhibit a myriad of traits and possess many admirable and resilient characteristics. The addition of rhythmic beats from a cajon drum box and solos from Sarah Sherwood ‘20, Rachel Rusch ‘20, Bailey Armosky ‘20 who a few of the solo performers  along with several soloists from Grisham and Canyon Vista, made this song a standout. The night ended with all of the choir programs singing Baba Yetu, an upbeat song in Swahili that defined the theme of the night: a community of young singers coming together and doing what they love. As the song’s rapturous groovy beat finished, several seniors came together and presented Mr. Clark with a bouquet of roses and as well, honored the middle and elementary school music teachers that have had such a profound effect on their students, both past and present. 

“I think it’s really important to connect with the younger choir students, and there’s really no better way to bond then to sing and perfect a song together,” Anushka Mazumdar ‘22 said.

A number of students will participate in the Pre- Area Audition which is part of Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) competition process on Nov. 19. The Westwood choir program will hold its annual Winter concert at Hope Presbyterian Church on Dec. 10.