Competition Month for Pierce Choir

Julianna Tague, Staff Writer

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This coming month is one that’s always packed with activity, whether it be the annual March Madness basketball tournament or March is Reading Month in elementary schools across the nation. A lesser known schedule that is also packed with activity this month is that of the choir student. In March, middle and high school choirs across the nation compete at district events known as choral festivals for ratings from judges and the opportunity for advice from renowned clinicians.  I interviewed Ms. Albrecht for an inside look at how the Pierce choir prepares for the annual District 16 Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) Choral Festival.

Beginning in late December, Ms. Albrecht searches for “two contrasting pieces of music [that] show the choir can sing a variety of styles of music”. One of the two songs must be from a repertoire of music selected by the MSVMA board. Above all, Ms. Albrecht’s choices of music are ones that “best show [her] choirs’ abilities [and that] her students can connect with emotionally”.

After many months of practice, Ms. Albrecht invites guest clinicians to Pierce to “help reinforce the concepts [she’s] been trying to teach”. Among the annually appearing candidates are Dr. Artis and Mr. Moses. Both instructors are skilled musicians who Ms. Albrecht feels can give her choirs significantly helpful advice to improve their overall sound.

The Pierce choirs also take an afternoon to perform their pieces to choir students and directors from Parcells and Brownell in order to receive valuable insight and judging from their peers. This is an opportunity to overcome the first set of nerves in singing a song in front of an audience and for Ms. Albrecht to receive scores from amateur judges that may reflect her choirs’ actual scores to come.

With all of this practice in combination, Pierce consistently attends the District 16 Choral Festival and receives ‘Excellent’ ratings in both performance and sight reading. Ms. Albrecht works to challenge each and every one of her students as individuals and choirs as groups to be the best they can be every day. Whether she be working with sixth graders, who are “just learning the foundation of singing skills and musicality”, or eighth graders, who “take more ownership and leadership of their performance [and] know when they have made a mistake and how to improve”, Ms. Albrecht does everything in her ability to make her choirs sound beautiful and have fun. After all, Pierce choir “works hard and plays hard”! Trojan Times wishes Pierce choir students and Ms. Albrecht good luck at choral festival next week.

 

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