Autumn Okuszka, Editor-in-chief

If you haven’t heard of WWT’s concert choir yet, you are bound to soon enough. The group has grown from 40, to 50, and now 60 all due to the direction of Mr. Corpuz, who has introduced separate groups for the large choir to give more students an opportunity to participate; acapella and select choir. Acapella choir was just introduced this past year as the group finally had enough men to participate, and select choir has been a common within the group for a number of years.

Unlike acapella, select choir is just for 12 selected women of the choir who have auditioned and were given a part in the group. Recently, they competed in the ‘Michigan School Vocal Music Association’ (MSVMA) District Festival Solo & Ensemble. Like past years, they received a division 1 rating, but it wasn’t an easy road to get there.

The group takes two pieces to sing, learned over the course of 4 months. “This year we sang “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which is based on a Robert Frost poem,” says Sarah Suminski ‘19, who’s been in select choir for the past two years. “We also sang “Reuben, Reuben” which is about a woman being confident in herself without a man.”

While learning the songs needed to succeed at districts, the group found themselves learning skills that could help them even after festival. “Overtime we know how to interpret pieces of music and how to use the lyrics to express different facial expressions and how to perform for an audience, engaging them. We’re able to go beyond singing the lyrics by adding musical phrases, for example, singing loud and soft.”

When the time finally came to attend the festival with all their preparation in mind, the choir found MSVMA to be a hard-working process. “We have 15 minutes to warm up, then we perform in front of a judge,” Sarah shares. “We are judged on pitch accuracy, stage presentation, tone, blending, and diction (pronunciation). After our performance we have a clinic with a choral professor who teaches us different techniques so we as a choir can better improve ourselves. Many other groups are there as well although we don’t necessarily compete against each other, as well as some soloists who take private lessons.”

After their performance and clinic, the choir had to wait for their rating, which can be the most grueling part of all. For their efforts, select choir received a division 1 rating and a medal to celebrate. Now, select choir is on the road to states, taking place in the spring.

“We are hoping to start a new piece of music in place of one of the song’s we performed at districts. We will also have to sight sing, which is reading from a short piece of music for the first time and having about 5-10 minutes to practice it before performing it in front of a judge,” Sarah says.

What’s next for select choir after competition season is over? You can catch them along with acapella and concert choir at their other concerts throughout the remainder of the school year.