Concert Choir sings successfully at Large Ensemble Festival, to showcase talent at Spring Concert


Ashley Avery

Tenor twos senior Marc Doughter, juniors Alex Dunn and Josh Gorman practice an arrangement of the traditional tavern song “Blow The Candles Out” in a sectional reherasal.

On March 7, the Concert Choir participated in the Missouri State High School Choir competition as a girls group, a boys group and a mixed group made up of the two.

“It felt great being able to participate in this event,” senior Connor Gately said. “Parkway West has always stood out as a musically talented school so we did very well at this competition.”

Each group prepared two songs of contrasting styles to be sung in front of judges, as well as any other group that chose to watch in the auditorium at Parkway North, where the event was held.

Judging consists of two categories: sight singing and prepared work. Each of the three groups did both a performance of their prepared pieces, then were taken to a separate room sight singing.

“We had worked pretty hard in class on site singing, often doing harder examples for practice than what we were given at the concert,” Senior Bass Section Leader Connor Gately said. “We were well prepared, and we worked efficiently enough in the room that we were able to sing it well and fix any mistakes the second time we went through the piece.”

Contest sight singing consists of each group being given a score of music they had never seen before with five minutes of preparation time, having the opportunity to sing through the score once on the Solfege syllable system and once on the lyrics.

“I thought the choir did very well with the sight singing,” music teacher Eric Anthony said. “I really work them hard, sometimes harder than usual but I have a very good group this year so they did very well at this contest.”

All three groups received a rating of one in all categories, or Superior—the highest rating an ensemble can receive, sweeping the other schools that were participating in the contest

“The choir students did very well with the sight singing pieces that I chose for them,” Anthony said.

A select number of sophomores from the boys and girls Chamber Choirs were asked to participate alongside their upperclassmen counterparts to add to the sound.

“The sophomores were picked based off their performance throughout the year with the choir,” music teacher Brian Parrish said.

The Chamber and Concert Choirs will be performing their prepared festival pieces alongside the Chorus and Jazz Choir tonight at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church on Clayton Road at 7:30 p.m.

“The boys and girls pieces that we will sing really outline our strengths as a group. The guys are better suited for a slower paced, more dynamic song, as opposed to the rhythmically focused song like the one the girls are singing,” four year Tenor senior Rami Ringling said. “Our strongest section is the Bass Section, and the Sopranos sound great singing the rhythmic stuff because they have great voices.”