Making a joyful noise.
West Jefferson Middle/High School Director of Choirs Rachel Armas realizes that her students face various struggles every day — as many teenagers do — and that often times the opportunity to spend some time singing each day can help serve as a coping mechanism.
In lies the reasoning, as Armas explained to those on hand for her Vocal Program’s Annual Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 15, she went with an uplifting theme when selecting the music for the evening.
Titled “Today I Choose Joy,” the program for the evening’s concert offered more than a dozen uplifting musical numbers performed by a variety of choirs from both high and middle schools. In addition, various students read inspirational quotes, as well as having some printed in the program distributed for the event.
Each group song was accompanied by Jacob Boyer on piano, and several other numbers included Phillip Bennetch joining on the guitar.
As a way to thank those students who have contributed to the vocal music program throughout the years, Armas affords all seniors the option of preparing solos to sing. On the night, Hope Schwind, Rachel Brown, and Patrick Krischak each performed a special number.
All participants processed in with the traditional “Jubilate Deo.” They were followed by a selection from the nine students who represented West Jefferson High School as part of the Ohio Heritage Conference Honor Choir.
The middle school choir performed three songs, the final of which was “Photograph.” While the song was being performed, a video screen displayed members of the choir as younger children.
After the High School Concert Choir performed two numbers, they combined with the West Jefferson High School Chamber Singers for “I Won’t Give Up.”
As the finale, the Chamber Singers remained on the stage for “You Will Be Found” and the strikingly-harmonious “Unclouded Day.”
The concert concluded with an impromptu singing of the West Jefferson Alma Mater by students and parents alike.
Once the concert was concluded, Armas presented her Choral Awards. Each student involved in the high school singing program was recognized, with a certificate outlining the number of years they have given to the school’s vocal program.
All seniors were recognized for their commitment to the music, theatre and academic realms of West Jefferson High School. Those honored were Rachel Brown, Patrick Krischak, Reese Nawman, Hope Schwind, and Andrew Weber; as their director shared the accomplishments of each student.
Nawman was presented with the prestigious National Choral Award for being a positive representative of the school’s vocal program.
Jeff Gates is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.
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