By Maryn Van Tassell and Cameryn Lamare
White Pine High School students
The White Pine High School Singers are having their annual end of the year concert on May 28, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 7 p.m. The performance will include a collection of soloists, the Men’s Section, the Women’s Section and the entire choir will perform. Some of the selections include “Sing Me to Heaven,” a tender tribute to the power of music, selections from the Broadway musical “Miss Saigon” (a play that follows a soldier during the Vietnam war), a medley of songs from the movie Frozen, a madrigal titled “Fine Knacks for Ladies,” and many more. A grand processional to the anthem “Sorida” will open the concert. This spectacle involves soloists, percussion and even a little dancing. Admission is free.
The spring concert is the final opportunity for graduating seniors to perform in the high school choir. Bradlie Mattinson, anchor in the bass section, hinted that the most powerful song of the concert would be an anthem entitled “The Awakening, because the message of the song is all about how life without music wouldn’t be life at all.” Mattinson’s favorite part of being a WPHS Singer over the years is “expressing myself; it’s my best talent!” Other senior performers include tenors Caleb Parish, Wyatt Barber, and Nate Lee; basses Chris Young and Korbyn Olson, and sopranos Aymee Felix and Sabrena Jeakins. Mattinson, Young, Barber, Lee, and Felix are all four year choir members.
The singers put many hours of hard work into their rehearsals. Class begins promptly when the bell rings with a five minute warmup. The warmup focuses on singing technique and music basics, including tone exercises, breathing and phrasing drills, and theory and ear training. Sometimes for the sake of contrast, the class sings incorrectly on purpose, allowing singers to experience the progress that has been made. Many entertaining mishaps have occurred in class, exploring both the right and wrong ways to sing! The bulk of class time is spent on learning and refining complex music. Students learn not only what they are singing, but how to sing it properly–how to blend, how to phrase, how to peak and swell at the right times, how to emote. The spring concert will feature several musical selections that split into eight parts.
Adam Young, director of the WPHS Singers, feels as though the most beneficial part of participating in choir is the exposure to music. “[The most exciting thing about the class] is feeling the synergy, energy, and magic that occur when students fully embrace the commitment to excellence in the creative process. To look into students’ eyes when that light goes on is to truly see the power that music has upon the soul. Sometimes the monotony of the day to day routines is hard to overcome, but these routines are the same ones that cause us to improve and be successful, so they are necessary.” After being asked what life lessons he wished students carried on with them from choir, Mr. Young said, “an appreciation for music and that hard work and dedication result in positive experiences.”
Connie Muir, the assistant director and accompanist of the choir, says, “I would say the most beneficial thing [from participating in choir] would be the experience of performing in front of people. The chance to perform in front of an audience is a rare opportunity, and to be in front of people and become comfortable in that setting is something that is very difficult for people to achieve.” She loves to be able to practice with choir students, and “see them in another venue, outside of the regular office day.”
All the students in choir appreciate the love and support the community has shown so far this year, and encourage and invite you to come to the final concert this year!