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Concert Choir All About Performance

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By Monica Prokup
From choral music, to musical theatre, to jazz songs, it is safe to say that the Fenwick choirs are replete with many capable and talented singers. This coming March, the Madrigals Singers Honors, as well as Concert Choir, will participate in a competition that tests their ability to sing a difficult classical piece, as well as know fundamental scales and triads.
Entitled the IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest, students from around the state compete for their chance to receive a 1, which is the highest score you can get at the competition. Junior Tom Latz exclaimed his excitement for his chance to participate: “Every year I look forward to being able to choose a song and perform it. It’s so exciting to be able to do what you love, when you’re given proper training!”
In class, the choir teacher, Ms. Kancler, is busy preparing her students for the big day. Some preparations include intense work one on one, as well as with the entire ensemble. “Students are exposed to a variety of music, learning many different skills,” she explained. “They then apply these skills to their ensemble singing, as well as other endeavors, such as work in musical theatre, opera, or pop.”
In fact, Ms. Kancler performs with the distinguished St. Charles Singers, so she understands firsthand the nervousness that occurs when performing. Some of choir class is spent listening to her group, as an inspiration to do well in the choir’s own performances.
Once the choirs are ready to compete, they must perform a piece in front of a distinguished judge, completely memorized. For some, the prospect of singing in front of an adult professional is frightening: “Going outside one’s personal comfort zone in terms of musical styles and the accompanying vocal demands is very challenging,” Ms. Kancler told me.
However, the choir students at Fenwick are very good at performing, and will without a doubt be able to win some of the highest awards. Just last year, a student from the graduating class of 2016 won the award of “Best in Room”. This title is given to those who impress their judge the most over the course of they day, and are deemed the best singer of all that the judge has heard. Hopefully, another singer this year will be able to uphold that legacy.
Another part of IHSA is the possibility of performing a group number with your choir. Both the Madrigals group and the Concert Choir group will be performing a group number, and are training hard to receive a high ranking.
The madrigals specifically are working on a piece called “Sure On this Shining Night”. The group received the music in August, and are just starting to piece the song together. “The harmonies in the song are complex, but if we keep working on it in class, then I’m positive we will do well! Only working as a cohesive ensemble constantly will we be able to succeed,” told Molly Wade, a current senior and member of Madrigals.
Concert Choir, too, is gearing up for a stellar performance. “This is my first time competing in the IHSA Solo and Ensemble contest, and I really hope my choir will be able to sing well! Under the great direction of Ms. Kancler, I know anything is possible,” sophomore Bridey Costello said.
By the time March comes around, it is assured that the Fenwick Choir will be ready to win.

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Concert Choir All About Performance