BCHS choral department showcases their winter concert

Alisa Aistrup, Feature Editor

On Dec. 4, 2018, Bear Creek’s Choral Department presented their Winter Concert, showcasing the hard work that the three choir classes (two beginning classes and one advanced class) have invested for the semester.
The two beginning classes came together to form one “super choir,” performing the same song together as one unit. According to Choir teacher Katherine Nash, the two classes never rehearsed together prior to the night of the performance. However, it was not noticeable as the two classes’ voices blended well together. Considering the number of people in the choir, their voices and expressions were raw and powerful and the beginning choir’s voices boomed throughout the theater. The choir was accompanied by the Bear Creek theatre teacher Cassandra Champeau on piano.
The first song performed at the concert was “And This Shall Be For Music,” a poetic English contemporary song. Next was “The Lonely Ash Tree,” a Russian Folk song that is a metaphor for two lovers, depicted as two trees that stand across the river from one another. This song was reportedly tricky, for by the second verse the two choirs sang two beats apart from each other. They pulled it off well and the choir’s performance of this piece was both haunting and beautiful. Despite how impressive they were, the performance wasn’t perfect.
It was somewhat disappointing to see that there were a couple of students in the beginning choir that stood in the back and did not participate at all. It became obvious to the audience that some students were there simply for a grade.

While the two beginning choirs together consisted of 34 students, the advanced class was tiny in comparison and consisted of only seven students. In able to join the advanced choir, students must have at least one year of experience.
“The advanced class covers the basics but integrates more difficult music,” Nash said.
With two students as sopranos, two students as altos and three students as baritones, the advanced choir have a fair range of voices. However, although the class had practiced for an entire quarter in preparation for this event, their performances were far weaker than that of the beginning choir.
Missed and offkey notes were easier to hear because of the lack of other voices to drown out the mistakes. The baritone’s deeper and louder voices became overbearing and oppressed the altos’ and sopranos’ higher, softer voices. The songs ranged in pitch, as stated by Nash, and had complex melodies. All the songs required a stronger vocal stamina and covered a large range of genres, such as classical, Italian and English ballads.
“Roses I Send to You” was my favorite from the advanced choir because it showcased the students’ abilities and their knowledge of music. Their performance of “Solfege Symphony,” on the other hand, was difficult to sit through. The song was a mix of well-known classical music and — although the students kept with the rhythm and the idea was cute in retrospect — the missed notes and the drowned out harmonies took away from the experience.
Nash announced before the concert that the two beginning classes had never practiced together before, but I would argue that it had been impossible to tell; the performance was professional and impressive for a high school choir. Overall, the choir concert was time well spent. Both the beginning and the advanced choirs were enjoyable to listen to, and I highly suggest attending the next choir concert in the spring.