Spring choir concert features variety of styles and songs

 Voice Activated performing “Light in the Hallway” at the March 8th spring choir concert in the performing arts center. “Choir is an amazing class. It brings us all together,” Voice Activated member Gia Zapanta said. Photo by Kayli Link.

Performing in the PAC on Wednesday, March 8th, the choir came together for their spring concert showing the progress each choir has made.

Between eight different choirs — Voice Activated, Treble Choir, Bass Ensemble, Spotlight, Concert Choir, Danger Tones, Women’s Choir, and A Capella — 18 songs were performed, all setting different tones in the PAC. Whether it was the slow soft tone in Bass Ensemble’s “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” or the energetic song about overcoming hardships, “Don’t Be Afraid” sang by all of the choirs together, the audience in the PAC seemed to enjoy it all.

With a total of eighteen songs, there was much preparation that had to be done in order to ensure the concert went smoothly. Women’s choir and Voice Activated member senior Jillianne Pamatmat said a large portion of the preparation was done with the choirs working to ensure they each clicked together.

“We had an intervention to grow through singing with other people and building up each other’s confidence. It really helped and bonded the choir to make the performance better,” Pamatmat said.

The practice they had done paid off in the end, senior Matthew Gutzwiller said.

“[We now have] a strong sense of community. It’s one of those classes you go to every day, you know you’re going to laugh, you’re going to smile cause everybody is good friends and we all share a common goal of making good music,” Gutzwiller said.

The choirs each felt that the preparations they each took led to a great night of performances. Junior Carissa Koopman said that after each day of practicing they felt more and more ready for the concert night.

“We spent so much time on each song, and it is so nice to see it all come together, and everyone did so great tonight,” Koopman said.

The choir members each said they loved many of the songs from the concert – even if they may have been difficult to learn – and it was evident that the audience felt the same way as they were eager to applaud the second each song ended. Senior A Capella member Josh Kwong said that every song had its own fun elements. One song in particular, “Norwegian Alleluia” was a song that sped up and slowed down many times while only using one word, alleluia.

“I really liked ‘Norwegian Alleluia’. Basically, it’s a super upbeat song, especially compared to some of the other ones. I feel like it’s the most fun to sing,” Kwong added.

Senior Gia Zapanta said that she had really enjoyed every song she got to perform but there were two that stood out, being ‘Elastic Heart’ and ‘Green Lights’. “Elastic Heart” is a powerful song that includes elements of pop music while still incorporating emotional lyrics like “I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard / I may snap and I move fast.” Meanwhile, “Green Lights,” is an upbeat song that focuses on the happiness in life and sharing it with someone close to you.

“One of my favorite songs is ‘Elastic Heart.’ I have a solo on that song and I was worried about it but everyone reassured me that it sounded really good and I felt a lot better about it,” Zapanta said, “My other favorite is ‘Green Lights’ because it has so much meaning to our director and we all love the song,” Zapanta said.

Despite it being Choir Director Taylor Bailey’s first year at East, Zapanta said that she feels Bailey is right at home among the choir program.

“The relationship we all have clicked so well with her. She gets us so well,” Zapanta said.

According to senior Skylar Thompson, the community the choirs have built has grown so much since Bailey became their director.

“We are all just a big family, especially in A Capella because we have all been doing it for years and we all know each other,” Thompson added.

Director Bailey said that the choir members and students have shown growth and community, establishing their collective love for music.

“[I love] seeing the kids shine on stage during their performance. I have the best seat in the house because I get to hear each choir up close and personal and I get to see the excitement on their faces when things go right. I’m so glad I get to share the stage with all of these amazing students,” Bailey said.

Kayli Link is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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