Choral students participate in spring concert

The choir prepares for the spring concert as the concert date quickly approaches


Kalysta Ansman

The concert chorus give it their all as they sing the last song of the night. In the high school auditorium, chorus students performed holiday hits in the holiday chorus concert.

Nina Cipriani, Editor In Chief

It’s that time of year again! All choral students are participating in the annual spring concert on Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. This is the choir’s second concert this school year.

All ensembles, including concert chorus (the entire chorus), varsity chorus (a small selection of only women) and vocal ensemble (a small selection of men and women), perform at the spring chorus concert.

Concert chorus is our largest ensemble. Most of the students in concert chorus have sung multiple years, but sometimes students join later due to scheduling conflicts. Concert chorus sings a variety of songs: from spirituals, movies, history and some classics,” choral adviser Kelly Sipes said.

Something new that has been added to the program for this year’s concert is how the tenors and basses of the concert chorus have their own song to sing, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, whereas in years past, the entire choir sang all songs together as a whole.

Sweet Caroline is one of our ‘classic’ songs. The tenors and basses came up with a list of songs they thought would make a good feature number. I helped them narrow the list down based on the strengths of our group and what might appeal to the audience. They chose ‘Sweet Caroline,’” Sipes said.

The sopranos and altos also have their own individual song to sing, “We Are The Voices,” which includes four different voice parts to add dimension to the song.

“I think it will be more difficult trying to arrange the piece with all of the vocal parts together. It will be hard to try to follow your notes when you hear three other parts, two, of which, you have never heard before,” senior Alexis McCaulley said.

Other music selections for concert chorus that will be featured in the concert are songs such as “Riversong,” “No Time,” “Wade In The Water” and “A Million Dreams” from the award-winning film “The Greatest Showman.” Each concert also has a theme that Sipes comes up with and, she chooses songs that correlate with that theme.

The theme of the concert is loosely based on ‘journeys’ we take through life. One of our songs ties into the history of the railroaders; which is not only suited to our theme but to Altoona as a railroad town. Another song, called ‘We Are the Voices,’ ties more into the emotional ‘journey’ we take as individuals. This rhythmic, uplifting song is about becoming empowered and appreciating the unity we share with others. Our final song, ‘A Million Dreams’ is meant as a senior send-off song. This song is about dreaming big and reaching those dreams,” Sipes said.

Students were hand picked by Sipes for the solos that are included in the concert chorus, varsity chorus and vocal ensemble songs.

Our smaller ensembles, varsity chorus and vocal ensemble, are performing other pieces such as Katy Perry’s ‘Rise’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ The individuals in these ensembles have to display a great deal of musicianship, work ethic, and independence to achieve learning these more detailed songs. Students in these groups are also part of our full concert chorus and have to learn additional music and schedule an additional class to be part of these ensembles,” Sipes said.

Varsity chorus has its own individual selections, including “Will There Really Be A Morning,” “Dream Keeper” and “Rise.” Senior Kierra Moist will sing a solo in the beginning of the song “Rise.”

“It is a very authentically powered piece. I like how the song fits with my vocal style,” Moist said.

Sipes is excited to have everyone come out and see the concert.

There are many featured soloists on the spring concert from all three groups. We have such amazing talent here. Come check out our concert Thursday,” Sipes said.