District chorus allows students to grow musically

To engage with fellow singers as well as grow musically, students participated in District Chorus with peers from Bucks and Montgomery Counties. District Chorus took place January 12-14.


Ciaran Byrne

Pitch perfect…Singing in harmony, senior Ally Lemon and junior Connor Feick rehearse their music. District Chorus took place from January 12-14 at Council Rock South High School.

After going through a rigorous audition process, many of the students who were accepted into District Chorus this year looked forward to gaining valuable learning experiences along with forming new connections.
With 14 students qualifying for districts, which took place at Council Rock South High School, Souderton was the second most represented school, tied with Neshaminy High School.
To qualify, students have to learn two advanced classical pieces that they must sing for a panel of judges who are choral directors from Bucks and Montgomery Counties. The only catch is that the students don’t know what specific section of the music they will have to sing.
“[The judges] choose in that audition room what they want to hear from the music,” choral director Jon Timmons said. “[The students] know both pieces fully but when they [are] going into that audition they don’t know what’s going to be asked.”
According to Timmons, that is why students planning to audition need to know their music so well. “You got to know it like the back of your hand essentially,” Timmons said.
Along with that, students were asked to complete a short sight-singing activity. This year’s auditions were very different from past years due to no longer having COVID-19 restrictions.
“We had to audition in-person this year so we had to be even more prepared,” senior Joey Beck said.
In the previous years, students had to audition virtually meaning they were able to re-record as much as they wanted.
“We had to audition live and only had once chance to get it right,” Beck said. “This put a lot more pressure on us and it was much more difficult.”
That being said, junior Anya Hradnansky found the entire process to be “very straightforward.”
Overall, students who have attended in previous years have found the entire experience to be a good growth opportunity and place to meet fellow choir singers.
According to junior Jackson Rohrbaugh, he really enjoys getting to know people from other schools.
“My favorite part is definitely all the new people you get to meet and talk to in between rehearsals,” Rohrbaugh said.
Even during the process of auditioning, students had the opportunity to meet new people.
“[In between auditions] we were able to talk to and meet people from entirely different schools until our number was called,” Hradnansky said.
Beck said he “loved” his experience last year and that was partly due to all the new friends he made there.
“I met so many people from other schools and I still talk to some of them,” Beck said.
One of the things Beck looks forward to most about districts every year is reconnecting with people he met in previous years. “I’m very excited to see all of my friends I met through PMEA last year and to meet new people as well,” Beck said.
Students who have participated in years past have learned a lot from their experiences in regards to music and life in general.
“I’ve learned that if you find something you’re passionate about than doing it for three days straight doesn’t feel like work,” Rohrbaugh said.“It’s fun.”
Like Rohrbaugh, Beck has also learned important lessons from attending districts.
“While participating in districts I have learned to connect more with each of the songs I’m singing, making it more powerful when I sing them,” Beck said. “I’ve also been introduced to so many amazing pieces of music and many new genres.”