Concert Choir prepares to close turbulent school year with Home Concert

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Photo submitted by Julie Xiong

Maddie Motz, Elise Karlstad and the Choir board work in preparation for welcoming choir students as well as the Home Concert at Stillwater Area High School. With the crazy year that everyone has experienced, the Choir board has done what it can to transition and progress smoothly.

Jay Lohr, Food Blogger

In the midst of the craziness this past year, Concert Choir has been preparing for one last concert to lay rest to their year of hard work and preparation. The “Home Concert” will be held at Stillwater Area High School. The choir will prove they still could bring choir together even through the pandemic.

To the choir Director Angela Mitchell, the special thing about the Stillwater Choir is when everyone gets to this Home Concert. It’s a celebration of their year’s work, every piece of music that they have sung that year as a solo is performed in this concert. 

There is more meaning to the Home Concert than meets the eye. The message behind the “Home Concert” was to showcase the journey the choir students went through. 

For Mitchell, it is a tradition. When you “go out on tour, you have traveled together, you’ve learned from clinicians, you’ve performed all over you know the country or local wherever you’ve gone on tour.”

When they come home for the final concert of the year it is called the Home Concert, because they have returned home from the choir tour. 

The choir has been practicing and preparing this concert for a long time coming. However, that does mean they have faced obstacles as a group on their way to prepare for the Home concert. One of the biggest struggles the choir has faced with the upcoming concert is just being together as a community.

One of the big struggles is just having everybody on the same page,” senior Choir President Noah Goodland explained. “Whether that be people staying at home because that’s what they’re doing at this time or people get Covid and then they have to leave for the two weeks, all that kind of stuff. It’s hard to keep everybody kind of on the same path, when you have people online, and then people in person.” 

Choir rehearsal these days might look extremely bizarre when compared to rehearsal in the past. Although many of the choir members may be at home, Mitchell uploads practice videos onto Schoology. It allows students to practice wherever, whenever.

Even when we have half the choir that’s on a computer, and half the choir that’s here,” “ we can still create music, and bring emotion to it and you know make people enjoy.”

— Noah Goodland

“Our choir director, Miss Mitch, also puts practice tracks out on our Schoology page for students to help our practice, you know, singing along with people singing along with choirs. Doing it so they can just get practice instead of doing it by themselves and not just having choir rehearsal as their only practice,” Goodland said. 

The choir will be performing a plethora of songs they have been rehearsing. Although rehearsals have been difficult, the choir has been able to practice songs that are meaningful for them and their journey back home.

Some songs the Concert Choir will perform are “Even When He Is Silent” by Kim Andre Arneson, “Ich Bin Die Auferstehung Und Das Leben” by Schutz, and “Light Of A Clear Blue Morning” by Craig Hella Johnson. And, some songs Vagabonds will perform are “Trois Chansons” by Claude Debussy, “I’m A Train” by The King Singers, and “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel senior Robe Wrangler, Julie Xiong explained.

With the Home Concert drawing near, many may wonder how the concert will work. This concert in particular will allow seniors to bring four family members each. Not only that, but the concert will be live streamed through Valley Access for everyone who wants to watch. 

Mitchell explained because of capacity rules, the choir has to still perform the Home Concert in the Stillwater gym .It will be on May 24, senior tributes are at 7:15 a.m., while the concert is at 8 p.m. in the main gym. 

“We are going to do it in the gym because we can have an audience of about 250,” Mitchell said.

With this hectic school year drawing towards the end, choir never ceases to provide a space where friendships are made and memories are cherished. 

“Being a part of choir has made my school experience very memorable,” Xiong said. “ I am very thankful for all the close friends I’ve made through choir and hope to continue singing, whether at college or independently for fun!”