by Caitlin Marks-Chockley and Matt Haggard/Staff Writers
As the “most wonderful time of the year” is just weeks away, many families have put up their holiday cheer and many people are getting ready for holiday music. Luckily, GC’s choir program is putting on an annual Christmas concert on Dec. 15. All choirs are going full force learning new songs as the concert is drawing closer.
Choir members discussed what their favorite part of the preparations includes. Ivy Rowe, 12 stated, “I’m looking forward to all the choirs getting together and singing a piece at the end. We do it for every concert for Christmas.” Emma Roberts, 11, stated, “I am most looking forward to being able to show off the talent the choir has gained since the fall concert.” Sarah Going, 11, said, “Performing with everyone is the best part of the concert.”
Rowe went on to say, “For Madrigal, we usually sing two songs from the dinners for the Christmas concert. We don’t know what two songs we will be performing yet but that is decided as a choir which two songs we are going to do for the Christmas concert.” As the public is welcome to attend the concert, many familiar Christmas songs will be sung for all to follow along. “We are performing Christmas songs we have known since we were young and some very hard Christmas songs,” said Roberts.
As many classics will be played at the concert, there is one that Roberts believes everyone will enjoy the most. “I think the audience will like “Hallelujah” most; it is a very traditional song, and I think it sounds very good.” Rowe stated, “We have a Christmas melody prepared, that I think the audience will enjoy the most because they will actually know those songs.” Going continued, saying, “I think they will like our final song with all choirs joined.”
As the holiday season is acclaimed as the “most wonderful time of the year,” many can agree that it is also one of the busiest times of the year. For the choir program, there is no exception. “I think our choir is very well prepared for the upcoming concert,” Roberts said. Meanwhile, Going stated, “We are very well prepared for the madrigal dinners, not so much the Christmas concert”. As the annual Madrigal dinner is just days away, all choirs are set to participate, sing and or serve in the upcoming spectacle. Along with the hard-pressed practicing for the dinner, the Christmas concert is full of holiday classics that all are familiar with.
When asked to describe in three words how the choirs are preparing for the concert, Rowe stated “Madrigal is hardworking, social, and we have commitment. We don’t want to sound bad the night of the show, so we do everything we can to make sure the signs we sing are almost PERFECT! If not, absolute perfection.” Roberts said “Strongly, hard, fast” with Going saying, “Everyone (is) working hard.”
GC bands have also been working hard ahead of the band/choir concert. “I know our group is well prepared because we have practiced the songs and perfected them a lot and they are becoming really good. We can still keep getting better, though, because there is always stuff for us to get better at and the music will be near-perfect for the concert,” said Dakota Atkinson, 11.
With not even a month away, the band is definitely putting in some time to prepare. “The songs we are playing do provide several challenges that we are improving upon each time we practice,” said Elyse Allender, 9.
“Every year we do great and put all of our hearts into creating joy,” said Carson Burks, 10.
Not only will a lot of classics be played at the concert but so will some more advanced songs that the band has worked really hard to prepare. “Our group is performing “Ukrainian Bell Carol,” “The First Noel,” and “An American Christmas,” said Isaac Kottlowski, 11.
This Christmas concert will offer some diverse choices. “We are mostly performing medleys of Christmas songs and I believe our theme for this year’s music is music around the world. I also believe we will have some original Christmas music and some jazz medleys for the concert played by our jazz bands,” Atkinson added.
“I think the song that the audience will enjoy the most is A Festival Christmas Celebration,’ which all three of our concert bands will be playing together and will be full of Christmas songs in the medley. This piece is full of energy and life and brings all of the bands together for one great piece,” Atkinson said.
With a lot on their plate, most people can tell students are putting in the effort to get everything performance-ready. “Every musician is hardworking, diligent, and primed for our concerts. Our group is very eager to see what every band and choir has to offer,” Kottlowski stated.
When asked what she would be looking forward to for the concert, Allender said, “I’m probably looking forward to performing with the choir the most. As a freshman, I’ve never done that before and I think it is going to be really cool.”
So are they prepared? “We just keep playing the music over and over to make sure we fix our mistakes and keep perfecting our music to our greatest ability,” Atkinson added.