Choir gets their time to shine at Great Works

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There were 250 people to watch the choir and orchestra perform all kinds of music including African-American spirituals, classical, pop music, etc. Photo by Peter Kannikal

  

   On Tuesday, March 10, the choir performed at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church. The event was called The Great Works. It has been a yearly event for choir, orchestra, and band. The main directors of the show were Christopher Rigolini, band teacher, Rebecca Jonas, orchestra teacher, and Sara Garza, choir teacher. This hour and a half show was a series of songs played by the groups, and choir and orchestra were occasionally combined to play together.

  This is Garza’s first Great Works at the school. “I was nervous. I was stepping into a tradition that we’ve (choir) done before. I felt pretty good. We had a lot of cancellations, so we were glad we got to do it,” said Garza. 

   The concert started off with “America the Beautiful”. The Talons, a choir group, performed “Payphone” by Maroon 5. The Men’s Select choir played “We Sail the Ocean Blue” by William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.  They also played a song called “Didn’t my Lord Deliver Daniel” by Paul Robeson which is part of a genre called African-American spiritual, which is a type of music that is usually religious. The Belle Voix had two songs, including “Nuit D’etoiles” (Starry Night) by Claude Debussy, which is in a different language. “We actually have one of the students in the choir’s mom who speaks French, so we had her speaking the French, and we kind of just learned from that,” said Garza. 

   Choir prepared the performance at home, during class time, and as a group. They also used something called sectionals. This is where the sections of students go into separate rooms and have a piano playing instead of listening to the other parts from other sections.

   There was also a combined choir which sang “Go Down Moses” from traditional African-American spiritual. “I pick all the music mostly and I have a really big passion for African-American spiritual and gospel, so I can always default to that music because it has a good history, and it’s good for a teaching aspect,” said Garza. 

   There were 250 people that showed up and about 140-160 students performed, according to Rigolini. Choir also had other events planned, but due to the coronavirus, they have been canceled. The pop concert on April 30th was not canceled, however. Garza said, “Since I came in January there has been a lot we haven’t figured out. I want to plan for a bigger collaboration and a longer piece. I would say this (The Great Works) is very important to the students and music faculty because it’s our chance to perform with the orchestra and band too, so I think it’s pretty important to everybody.”

Peter Kannikal, Staff reporter

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Infographic by Peter Kannikal