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Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Student vocalists perform ‘Voices of Altoona’ concert

Emily Pentland
The sound of music. The AAHS vocal ensemble has many upcoming events for the holiday season. For their next outing, they will sing at the first tree lighting service downtown on December 1.

On Nov. 16 the high school and junior high vocal ensembles and All-City Chorus combined to perform the ‘Voices of Altoona’ concert. Over 100 young vocalists entertained over 500 audience members in the high school auditorium. 

The night began with the AAHS vocal ensemble. Under the direction of Kelly Sipes, talented high school singers performed ‘My Girl’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ 

“We love to perform, so any chance we get to put ourselves out there is always welcome and a lot of fun,” Sipes said. “The students in the Vocal Ensemble selected what we performed. It just gives us a little bit more ownership and I know that they’re up there really having a good time and are able to let loose and make some good music.” 

Afterwards, the junior high’s vocal ensemble and the All-City Chorus took their turns performing. 

“The whole focus of this program is to see the progression,” Sipes said. “You get to see that growth from level to level, and at the conclusion we combine all levels of chorus together for one final piece.” 

The concert ended with the piece “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Sing, Sing, Sing.” 

“I love coming together as a group and doing something that we all love,” junior Emily Pentland said. 

This feeling of community between multiple generations of Altoona students is what makes Voices of Altoona so important each year. 

“Some of the students here have performed in this since fifth or sixth grade, so it’s cool for them to look back at where they were before,” Sipes said. “For the younger kids, hopefully we are able to make an impression on them.”

In a few years, many of the young students that performed as part of the All-City Chorus and AAJHS vocal ensemble may return to this concert representing the AAHS vocal ensemble instead. It can be difficult for some students to stay diligent with refining their skills, but this concert acts as a reminder as to who they want to be in the future. 

“Don’t sell yourself short,” Sipes said. “The only way you grow is to push yourself outside your comfort zone. That’s hard to do, but you reap the benefits of it later on.”

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