by Abby Mulligan/Staff Writer
Mr. Paul Grizzard is the choir teacher here at GCHS. He holds classes each day featuring a wide array of talents and personalities. He continuously works hard to meet each choir and child’s goals. His goal? To make each student feel at home and safe in the environment he has created for the kids, he said.
In a story, Mr Grizzard described his method of teaching. “We went to a competition and we sat next to a choir… and all they did was talk about how much they hate their director and how much they all hate choir…” While he did mention that the choir had a good performance, he still believes in a philosophy of working hard while having a good time. “… I want to make sure the kids enjoy themselves in class… and so I try my best to keep kids engaged and I am successful at that,” he said His teaching style reflects the way kids feel about the choir program. Destinee Roberts,10, who is in the Concert Choir, said that the class makes her feel “stronger and more comfortable in my singing.”
Not only does Mr. Grizzard work hard in making each student feel their personal best, but he also strives to achieve goals for each performance. He said his overall goals for teaching the classes are that each student understands music curriculum, is able to read music successfully, and gains self confidence through performing in front of audiences. Each choir is unique, and Grizzard works each day to perfect songs in order to showcase the wide range of voices in every group, he said. Goals can also be set based on a specific choir, such as the freshmen. Grizzard described the difficulty yet enjoyability of meeting a new group of freshmen and watching them break out of their shells and grow into talented young singers. “For performance, I just want to find success at every level which means getting freshmen to sing when they are too scared to and getting Madrigal to make it to state,”he said. With choirs beyond the freshmen level, he enjoys being able to see their voices further develop and branch out into new singing genres, such as jazz, pop, or even songs with different languages, he said.
Grizzard and the choirs are continuing to work hard this year to prepare for future concerts. Audrey Pechin, 10, in Bella Voce, has begun choir this year, and is fully learning what it is like to become a part of the “choir family.” When asked about her favorite part of the class, she answered, “My favorite part is when we are all singing and harmonizing… it makes me happy to be a part of it.” So as the choir family continues to grow and learn, Mr. Grizzard can say that he has achieved what he has worked for: students improving in both performance and self-confidence.