WCA Choir’s Continuing Crescendo
Mari Knehans - Staff Writer
March 15, 2010
Filed under News
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 9th, 2010, WCA’s concert and chamber choirs traveled to Parkway North High School to compete in the MSHSSA State Choir Festival. The choirs performed pieces that were debuted in their concert last Thursday evening at Missouri Baptist University. The competition encompasses schools from across the St. Louis area, including public and private institutions. The event’s nature is analogous to a more traditional, concert style American Idol. There are three judges with varying personalities who determine marks for the choir basses upon a predetermined grading rubric—including musical elements, such as dictions, balance and blend, and intonation. Each group of singers is given a number score from five, being classified as poor, to one, which is considered superior. The competition is broken up into two parts, performance and sight singing, which tests the raw talent and skill of the group’s ability to read music without the assistance of the director or the piano.
In the past, Westminster’s groups have done exceeding well.
“Overall I think we did extraordinarily well. And even though it wasn’t as good as last year, we still did great!” said Rachel Bates, junior.
The 2009-2010 concert and chamber choirs received scores of two plus this year. That mark is respectable, but proves to be a disappointment to the group – factoring in all the hard work the ensemble of 55 students put in.
“The altos dominated the sight singing in my opinion…I honestly thought we deserved a 1 based off of our part,” said, Katie Haverstick, senior.
Christian Dohr, senior chamber choir accompanist, said, “It was fun because I got to sit there and watch all the other choirs perform, including our choir. There were tones of schools there, and while I may be biased, WCA stood out because they were just up there having fun! It was cool because they sang pieces sharing the message of God’s word – they were literally praising him with joy in front of a bunch of other schools and that made it awesome. The judges were harsh; they sounded beautiful. I am so proud of them.”
Following the same train of thought, Mr. Allen Schwamb, WCA Choir Director, said, “I think we all were a little disappointed not to get a 1 – a superior rating, but 2 is very good. In fact, it’s ‘excellent.’ I heard from another teacher that the judges were very tough this year, which means that everyone probably felt it in some way; and for us, it was getting a 2 rather than a 1. But this number assignment does not negate the work we’ve done all season. These choirs make some really beautiful music, and have come a long way from where they started. I am very happy with their work, and with the sound that they make.”
Excitement is fuming out of WCA concert and chamber choir as they await their departure to Chicago this week for tour. They will be sharing their talent and hard work in concerts across the city.