Lancer’s choral program development on display Friday
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While the audience sits in the bleachers, the choir lines up on the risers. As soon as their mouths open, music is in the air, and the audience is enthralled. With every “ooh” and “ahh,” the performers draw the spectators closer.
Mrs. Jennifer Escovar’s hands begin to move in ways that you would not understand unless you are a performer, feeding off her secret language. The song is not in English and many have no clue what is being said, hence, the story is told mostly through facial expressions and dynamics.
“It’s an emotional journey when you sing,” said senior Estelle Ocegueda.
Over the years, the Bishop Amat choral program has grown immensely. What started out as ten students in one choir class has sprouted into four different classes with around ninety students.
“It’s been pretty exciting seeing the growth of the choirs,” Mrs. Escovar said.
The choral department appreciates school support, “it is really important because all of the students work really hard and they are putting themselves out there and a lot of people do not realize that when you put yourself out there you’re sharing a little bit of your heart with people,” Mrs. Escovar said.
The support is essential because of the hard work the choir members put in. There are months of preparation in not just learning the lyrics but learning how to to sight read, blend their voice, and breathe as a unit in order to create a specific sound.
“A lot of hard work and individuals come together and bring their own talents and special abilities to work on one thing, I think that’s what choir is for me,” Jake Elder said. “It’s the behind the scenes; it’s when you can come together and make this epic song of grand proportions.”
To the choir members, music is an intimate experience. They sing the lyrics straight from their soul and it’s an experience many have trouble expressing into words, they said.
“It’s not just the voice, its personality, creativity, and depth,” Elder said. “Music speaks to the soul.”
The music means something different for Ocegueda.
“It comfort for me, it’s calming, it’s where I feel safe,” she said.
Singers come together in a choir to convey a message, and share something personal with the audience.
“It’s a way I can express my feelings,” Melissa Elias said.
“Music is something people listen to everyday for various reasons,” Mrs. Escovar said. “They look to music to find hope, healing, happiness, and love.”
“I think [music] is a healthy outlet for people, especially this day and age,” she said. “It seems like everyone is stressed out and overworked, it’s definitely therapeutic.”
The singers are not the only performers on stage. One sometimes unrecognized but vital person is the conductor. Conductors are the ones who shape the music and have full control of every note, breath, tone, and dynamic.
“It’s like driving a Lamborghini,” Mrs. Escovar said. “I can make a tiny gesture and then hear a huge difference with the choir, it’s really magical.”
These enchanting moments will be shared at the Candlelight Christmas Concert. It will take place on December 9, in the Carroll Center at 7 p.m. Tickets are now on sale. The entrance fees are $10 per student with ID, $15 for general admission, and $20 for VIP, which includes priority seating on the floor and free desserts throughout the night.
“So come down to the Candlelight choir concert,” senior Jakob Hesse said, “it’s going to be lit.”