School music groups prepare to embark on tour


Photo courtesy of Alexa Blaise Chandler

Samantha LaMont, Reporter

Concert Choir, band, and orchestra have been preparing themselves for a week-long tour coming up March 26-31. It’s five days of singing and playing their instrument of choice while showing off all of their hard work in Seattle, Washington. Some of the highlights are a dinner cruise, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle.

The songs that the choir, band, and orchestra have been rehearsing are quite challenging and they hope will show the judges their true talent.

There are around 114 students in choir making it one of the larger groups. Festival, which is designed for high school music departments and directors, provides performance opportunities for each participating musical group. They are judged by a group of fellow musical groups. Schools perform their individual pieces that they have been working on for months. As the dates come closer, the excitement continues to grow.

The choir conductor, Leah Tarrant, has been teaching Concert Choir for 23 years and has been doing six other choirs. This year she said, “This has been one of my strongest men sections I’ve ever had. Every year the choir has their own strengths and weaknesses.”

Tarrant said, “The heart of the choir this year is awesome. I can put anything in front of them and they can accomplish it. They have made such improvement and I think they will do very well in Festival and on Tour.”

Senior Allison Gabbitas, has been in Concert Choir for two years as well as Madrigals for one year. Gabbitas has been singing for about four years now, professionally and recreationally. Before making the decision to join Concert Choir she wanted to make sure she had friends in the class.

Gabbitas said, “It seemed like an awesome chance to have a fun class with friends. To hang out with people that I like and sing at the same time. It made sense.”

Tour is in about two months and Gabbitas claims she needs to personally work on her vowel sounds before she’s ready to go and compete in front of the judges.

“I believe we will do well when it is time to sing our new songs,” Gabbitas said.

Senior William Wilkinson is part of Madrigals and Concert Choir. This is his second year in Concert Choir and first year as a Madrigal. He has been singing his whole life. Wilkinson said, “Singing seemed interesting, [in] this choir especially. I heard Mrs. T was very nice and she loves her students. Being in this class I can feel the great environment everyone has made and it’s easy to make new friends, it’s amazing.”

With Tour and Festival coming so soon, Wilkinson said, “I don’t think we are ready right now. We have potential that’s for sure. But fairly soon will be our time to shine. I am personally very excited for tour and to get out of the city and make some crazy memories.”

Senior Benjamin Taylor has been part of Madrigals and Concert Choir both his junior and senior year. He has been singing since the second grade. Taylor said, “Mrs. T is the best choir teacher in the state. She generally cares about each of her students and it really reflects in her work. This year has made me change my thinking process when I sing. The choir program has become my second family and I love it here.”

They are working hard and not stopping till the last possible moment. To anyone thinking of trying out to be a part of this choir, Gabbitas highly recommends the experience. “Choir is super super fun […] For other people, it might be stressful but for me, it’s pure joy, stress-free,” said Gabbitas.

Wilkinson would recommend anyone thinking about trying out to try out. He said, “You will regret not trying out. It’s such a great experience and it tests your abilities as well as shows off your talents.”

Tryouts for Concert Choir will be announced soon; they will be at the end of February. Listen to morning announcements for further information.