Sing It Loud

A Guide to Choir and How to join

The+Chorale+sings+Cantate+Domino.

The Chorale sings “Cantate Domino.”

The Cedar Ridge choir program is a great option for anyone who enjoys music and singing. They focus on a wide variety of music and foster an atmosphere of working together to help create amazing music.

The program includes five different choirs. The beginning levels of choir are Men’s Concert Choir and Women’s Concert Choir. The next step is the Advanced Women’s Choir. Chorale is the second highest level, with Headliners being the top and most advanced choir.

You can join by signing up for the class with your counselor, but for the higher choirs you will need to go through an auditioning process.

“It’s a bit nerve racking auditioning, but you have to make sure you do your best. It’s really great getting to be a part of a choir you worked hard to join,” Sam Nelson (11), a member of Chorale, said.

While you can audition for choir once you’ve joined, no matter what time of the year, Headliners auditions are only held at the end of the year.

“The Headliners is pretty much set by the end of the spring semester for the following year,” Mr. Martin, the choir director, said. “We have the auditions for that in May, and that’s a very small, select ensemble of singers that are really good.”

The fee to join choir is $60, but there are additional fees if you would like to enter competitions.

“If they want to do solo and ensemble contest, that entry fee is $10. If they advance to state solo and ensemble contest, that entry fee is $20 for a solo $10 for each ensemble member. If they want to do all regional auditions, that has two levels for next year, it is $5 for round one and $15 to advance to from there to round two all the way up to state,” Mr. Martin said.

Performances are a big part of choir that members seem to enjoy.

“I really enjoy the singing and going to concerts because it’s fun. I would feel nervous, but when you get out there and sing either by yourself or with people it feels good,” Laila Deary (9) said.

Choir puts on five major concerts a year, a fall concert, a winter concert, Jazz Cafe, a pre-UIL Concert, and the year end concert called “After Dark.”

“After Dark is like a variety show in that people do a lot of stuff along with singing, like dancing. It’s a show choir thing. We get a lot of bonding time during it,“ Caitlyn Clark (11), a Headliner, said.

“Jazz Cafe is primarily for the Headliners group. Anyone in choir can audition to be a featured act in jazz cafe. The Headliners do the ensemble acts and the featured solos are between all the ensemble numbers,” Mr. Martin said.

They make an effort to sing a variety of songs in order to defy traditional connotations.

“One of the misconception that a lot of people have about choir coming into it is that it is all just boring blank face choir music. The kind the little kids fall asleep to at church and stuff like that,” Jack White (12), a headliner, said. “And we do sing some classical songs, but we also sing more modern stuff as well.”

Choir is also a community with plenty of opportunities to meet new people.

“I met almost all of my friends through choir. I’ve been friends with some of them for over four years and we still all love each other,” Kira Walling (12), a Headliner, said.

Choir offers a place for people to join a community and develop their skills. It allows students to discover new interests and improve themselves.

How to Join:

In order to get into the higher levels of choir, you will need to audition. Auditions are used to ensure you have the skills necessary to be in a higher level choir.

Auditions are comprised of multiple parts.

“If you are only auditioning to be in advanced women’s choir or choral, you would need to come in and sing Happy Birthday acapella, you would be expected to sing a major scale on solfege syllables ascending and descending,” Mr. Martin said.

“You would be expected to sight read an eight measure eight measure exercise, so we would give you an exercise and you could sight sing that on any method, like if you are an instrumentalist and you don’t know how to solfege, then you can sight read it on a neutral syllable like “la.” But you would have to sight read be placed in a more advanced group because we need to know you can read music before we place you in an advanced choir.

“Finally, we would just do some exercises to see how high and how low your voice goes and also how well you match pitch. So we do some pitch matching activities. You would have to sing back what we play on the piano to see if you can match the notes.”