Westwood Horizon

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Choir Camp Passes Down New Traditions

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Laney McFadden '20 grins at a friend. Photo courtesy of Rachel Rusch

Traditions have become a staple in Westwood Choir since Mr. Andre Clark joined the staff as the choir director last year. Building traditions and relationships is vital to the choir community, and nothing does this better than Choir Camp, an annual event held as an introduction to music and an opportunity to develop bonds that stick throughout the rest of the year. This year, Choir Camp was held on Tuesday, Sept. 11 in the choir room.

“What I found in my experience is that it’s the traditions that bind us together. Sometimes those are the most positive moments, where you’re singing something and everybody is really locked in, and it’s bigger than who we are as an individual,” Mr. Clark said. “For me, to be a part of those traditions and to really foster those traditions is exactly what we should do.”

Traditions are no doubt at the forefront of everyone’s minds when attending Choir Camp, and bonding through games is something that sticks out. After initial introductions from the officers, the attendees gathered together and played several games that allowed them to interact in a way they never had before.

“I think it’s a really good time for everyone to get to know each other from different choirs, because we don’t get be with everyone before the first concert, so Choir Camp is a really good time to get to know people,” Sarah Armosky ‘20 said.

Although there were games played at the beginning, everyone quickly dived into the most important part of the night: the music. The choirs learned two new pieces of music, The Lord Bless You And Keep You and Ay Ay Ay, both of which will be performed as combined pieces at the upcoming concert. The Lord Bless You And Keep You is performed at every concert, giving it a special place in everyone’s heart. It’s also a bittersweet reminder of all the memories made in choir for the seniors, as it’s their last year performing the song with the choirs. Even though it’s melancholic, it’s easy to see the connections everyone had through the music, whether it was their first year in choir or their last.

“I think [The Lord Bless You and Keep You] brings everyone together in one group to just experience how choir is in general and throughout the year,” Caleb Warren ‘21 said.

Ay Ay Ay is the second piece of music that the choirs learned. It follows a clapping and drumming beat, and there were smiles all around as the song came to a final conclusion. There was a sense of togetherness in the room as everyone combined to achieve one sound and didn’t let grade levels or choir blocks separate them. The directors’ faces as they looked on were proud, and the feeling in the room was the same.

“It’s really important for the choir because it’s the first time that all of the choirs get together. It’s nice to have everybody all together,” Choir Co-President Sophia Norton ‘19 said. “We get to see people’s leadership really shine through and those connections are made that really last a lifetime.”

Overall, Choir Camp was another tradition built upon by Mr. Clark and Ms. Jennifer Alexander. The students were unified in music in a way they had never felt before, and a new year began in the choir room that night. The choir will hold their Fall Concert on Sept. 25 at Hope Presbyterian Church.

“For us, our concerts are our homecoming,” Mr. Clark said. “They’re homecoming for our students who are alums, they’re homecoming for even teachers who come back, and they get to be a part of something that was a big deal when they were here.” 

About the Writer
Mae Bruce, A&E Editor

 I enjoy listening to music, singing, and writing. I have two cats and a tortoise that I love the most....

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