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Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

Four choirs to perform in fall concert

The Mixed Chamber Choir runs through a dress rehearsal on Oct. 16. The Fall Choir Concert will be on Oct. 17 starting at 7 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Mosteller)

Tonight at 7 p.m. the chamber choir, advanced treble chorus, tenor/bass chorus and treble choir will play in their fall concert. The concert is scheduled to last a little over an hour. Repertoire includes madrigals, ballads, gospel, spirituals, and contemporary choral music. The four choir groups have been preparing for their first concert since the beginning of the school year.

Choir director Mike Pierson said the preparation for the concert began in the summer. Pierson chose the music over the summer, with some pieces already being under the ownership of the RBHS FIne Arts Music Department and some pieces being brand new. The process of learning the pieces is extensive and takes time.

“We start with listening to other performances of the pieces then go through the processes of learning and polishing,” Pierson said. “Each choir has four pieces of their own and one shared piece that all [the] singers will perform together. That is what I planned for the concert.”

The first concert shows the progress each ensemble made during the first two months of the year and reflects the learning and performance capability of each group. The concert will show Pierson what level of pieces he can assign for the winter and spring concerts.

Senior Greta McNamee sings alto in the mixed chamber choir, which rehearses third hour on A days. McNamee said that the choirs received their repertoire early in the year from Pierson.

“We’ve been preparing our songs since maybe the second or third day of class,” McNamee said. “Every year, we get a pretty huge workload, and it’s important that we get ahead of it before we get behind.”

The songs for the mixed chamber choir include works by Antonio Scandello, Mark Butler, Jacob Narverud, Eric Whitacre and Anton Bruckner. Additionally, Narverud’s piece Let the Music Fill Your Soul will feature all four choirs singing together, and Bruckner’s Locus iste is the All-State Choir audition piece for this year.

“My favorite song is Signs of the Judgment, because it’s challenging rhythmically and tonally, but when it’s done right it really shows off the skill of the choir,” McNamee said. “We have extremely talented people in every voice part, and it’s nice to have a song that lets them shine.”

Junior Owen Dack, who is also a part of the mixed chamber choir, said the preparation for the concert has been no small effort.

“We’ve been learning and memorizing the music for this Thursday concert since the first day of class,” Dack said. “Within the last few weeks we’ve also been preparing pieces for further future events.”

Dack said memorization is one of the most often overlooked aspects of having to prepare for any type of concert.

“I know I’ve had to take my music home for a personal rehearsal to help memorize,” Dack said. “That for me was mostly just remembering the mistakes I made in class and going over the music at home to fix them.”

Both Dack and McNamee look forward to watching the other ensembles perform. For McNamee, this concert will be especially emotional and meaningful.

“It’s a little bittersweet for me, going into this concert. On one hand, I love making my way through our performance calendar for all the songs we get to learn, but on the other, I know that this will be one of the last times I get to perform alongside this group, and I will definitely miss it,” McNamee said. “So much has changed over the years that I’ve completely lost track of all of it, and I’m grateful to have found a group that has made me more confident and happier in doing something I already loved.”

Pierson hopes the concert will serve as a stepping stone for all the choirs. The idea is to use the concert as a confidence booster, while pointing out potential spots for improvement.

“We have a wide variety of age and level of experience this year among the choirs,” Pierson said. “Each one is unique to the next in personality and musicianship. That makes my job more difficult and more fun at the same time.”

What is a memory you have from attending a concert? Let us know in the comments below.

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