I Would Like To Thank My Choir Teachers
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Student Life

I Would Like To Thank My Choir Teachers

Choir has been a part of my life for a very long time, and it is about time that I spoke about how much choir means to me.

I Would Like To Thank My Choir Teachers
Allison Winters

I have been in some sort of choir program almost my whole life. I have worn most everything on concert day from the white shirt and black pants combo, blue shirt and blue jeans, a floor-length black dress, to a gold and black dress. I have experienced first-hand what it is like to stand under the glaring spotlights of a high school theater while on squeaky, ancient risers. There is the overwhelming feeling of anxiety mixed with excitement you feel before each performance that makes it impossible to stop smiling as you line up in your spot. As a senior in high school this year, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect and share about my choir experiences and thank those who have helped me along the journey.

Middle school was (and usually is for everyone) an awkward, stressful time. Yet, whenever I would make my way towards Mr. Clark's class, I felt as if a weight was being lifted off my shoulders and I was free to truly express myself around the people in that room. We might have not been educated musicians at that point, but that is where my passion remained. Singing was where I felt at home. He made me feel like I actually had talent when I auditioned and made it into the all girl's ensemble G.O.L.D, as well as getting the young Cosette solo in the Les Misérables medley we performed eighth grade year. My fondest memories from those years were either in choir or at show. Having the opportunity to sing Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, "Bohemian Rhapsody", and "Jar of Hearts"-- I mean what else could you ask for in a choir? Whether it was taking trips to Dollywood, performing at churches or festivals, it just felt right being there. It felt like that was where I was supposed to be. Still to this day I can visualize the tall, large windows on the right side of his room with the folder slot cabinet against the wall right next to it and the poster-plastered walls.

Then, I came to high school. I walked into Beginning Choir surrounded by every class from freshmen to seniors. The short-haired, optimistic, Mrs. Elliott stood in front of the largest choir class I had ever been a part of at the time, and proceeded to teach me new things that I had never known not only about music, but about myself. Just a couple weeks into my high school career she encouraged me to try out for the regional honors choir called Freshman Honors, which required memorizing a song and sight-reading in front of a panel of judges. Shoot, if you would have asked me to that in middle school, I probably would have passed out! She worked with me after school until I mastered the piece. The day I checked the website and scrolled down to see my name on the list of those who made Freshman Honors, I ran around the halls of my house filled with amazement and pure joy. Additionally, I tried out for the L.O.V.E. choir (the high school all girl's choir) and Vocal Ensemble (the SATB advanced choir) every year. I spent three semesters in S.O.U.L choir before I made it into Vocal Ensemble and L.O.V.E choir. Throughout every audition with Mrs. El, she was nothing but encouraging and treated me with never-ending compassion and love. The days that I would check her door to see if my name was on the list, I would slowly make my way through the sea of people just to be let down once again. Through the sporadic sobbing she always found time to give me a hug and let me know to keep trying, and I'm glad I did.

I am sad to see my school choir experiences end this year, but I hope to pursue music outside of high school. I have crossed paths with so many people just through chorus, and I will forever be grateful for that. I now can "takadimi", hand-sign solfege, and truly appreciate even more aspects of music. Thank you, Mr. Clark and Mrs. Elliott, for allowing you and your classes to be a light in my life when I needed it the most. Anyone who has inspired and encouraged me to follow my love of music along the way, thank you to you as well. Although you have had so many people stand on the risers before me, I know that you have changed almost all of them for the better. The memories I have made through the choir programs are ones that will stay with me for as long as I live and as the year continues I plan to make even more. There are not enough words to describe how blessed I have been to be involved in such a nurturing, close-knit environment.

"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before." -Leonard Bernstein

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