Northwest Choir Program 2009

For the Northwest Choir program, the fall may not be the most important season, but it is certainly one of the busiest this year.

Not only are there five separate choirs (A Capella, Boys’ Choir, Girls’ Choir, Girls’ Select, and Chambers) preparing for their first concert, but there is a new choir room to get used to, and vocal auditions for the musical have begun. (The auditions may not be required, but with the choir director Scot Schwartz so involved with the process, many of the students who end up trying out are from choir.)

The first concert of the year is Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. All the choirs have been preparing every day for their first performance, practicing pieces that range from “Loch Lomond”, an Irish song arranged by Jonathan Quick, to “Domine Fili Unigenite” by Vivaldi, to “City Called Heaven”, arranged by Josephine Poelinitz. These pieces of music range from “traditional gospel-choral music” to “contemporary pieces,” according to president of the Choir Office Board Andrew Shaw.

Also, all the choir members are excited about the new multi-million dollar room.

“The acoustics are very fun to sing in because you can actually hear yourself,” sophomore Jake Gipple said.

The students also don’t have to share the new space with the orchestra and band, making everything a lot more organized. There are now extra rooms available for the choir to practice at any time, and the room is supposed to be soundproof, according to sophomore Jenny Nelson. It really helps fine tune the members’ voices and achieve Schwartz’s primary goal for his choirs.

“Mr. Schwartz wants to expand the vocalists’ range so we can sing all parts in the choir,” Nelson said. “He wants the girls to sing alto, soprano 1, and soprano 2, and the boys to sing tenor and bass. It makes it a lot easier throughout your musical life.”

Despite some high expectations set so early in the year, Schwartz has a way of working with the students that they say makes these goals feasible. Students feel comfortable enough to speak their mind, and by listening to students’ suggestions and criticisms of all songs, he takes everyone’s opinion into consideration and then uses it to improve the quality of the music.

“He listens to what you have to say about certain songs, sees how you’re doing and really looks at how students are feeling about the song,” sophomore and member of the Choir Office Board Griffin Epperson said, ” Really, it’s just a good atmosphere for everyone.”