Don’t stop the music
By Claire Bauer, student writer; photos courtesy of Deanna Thaler
The bond between those on a sports or club team is strong. You are there for each other through thick and thin. You support each other. You lift each other up. It’s no different in a choir. Studies have shown that choral singing can help decrease stress and anxiety and improve the mood of those singing, perfect for middle schoolers and their stress-filled lives. Recently, the top middle school choir students, including four Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) students, gathered for the 2020 All-State Festival at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
The Colorado Middle All-State Choir (CMASC) is an optional ensemble that requires students audition and demonstrate their technical skills and offers them a chance to represent their school district at the event. To get to the festival, students prepared their auditions last September. From there, they submitted auditions and waited with anticipation to see if they were selected. Upon selection, students began preparing for the music festival held in early February.
Colton Renberg (7th grade), Clark Farson (7th grade), Madeline Buckman (7th grade) and Jaidyn Shirley (8th grade), led by RHMS choir teacher Deanna Thaler, proudly represented the RHMS Nighthawks at the CMASC Festival.
“I love to sing and perform on stage. I also love being able to move an audience and communicate through music,” said Buckman when asked why she chose to audition. “I tried out for All-State because I heard amazing things about it and thought it would be an amazing learning experience for me. I worked months in advance to prepare.”
Renberg added, “I like the idea of being able to make music with the voice and how there are so many unique voices out there. I had never done something like this before, and I wanted to try something new. It took lots of practice; practice in choir, at home and just everywhere in general.”
All students auditioning sang a small snippet of “Aura Lee,” by George R. Poulton; which they worked on together in class. Students also listened to a four-measure piece sung to them and then had to sing it back. Additionally, they demonstrated they could sight-read reasonably well.
“Choir is a really good class or pastime, and it is good for all types of people; so, try it out!” Farson declared with passion. Buckman agreed, “Even if you think you have no chance, try out. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It was such fun and such a great learning experience for me, and it was so worth it.”