Pops Concert Wraps Year

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Women’s Chorale sings and dances to their Hannah Montana compilation at the 2013 Choir Pops Concert.

Lindsay Wilson, Lifestyle Editor

Women’s Ensemble (sophomore), Men’s Chorale (freshmen and sophomore), and Women’s Chorale (freshmen) finished off the year with the annual Underclassmen Spring Concert and Pops Concert on Wednesday, May 22.

The first portion of the concert featured classical music, including the Women’s Ensemble’s “Son de Camaguey” by Stephen Hatfield and Men’s Chorale’s “We Sail the Ocean Blue” by W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. Each section performed three songs, and then left the stage. Director of Choral Activities Mark Roberts explained the significance of each piece prior of the performance of each respective choir. “I choose the songs based on a lot of different concepts. I always want to make the audience interested, so that no 2 songs are similar,” he said.

Roberts gave 4 awards to his underclassmen choirs, including “Outstanding Freshman,” “Outstanding Sophomore,” “Director’s Award,” and the “Cougar Crescendo Award.” Freshmen Hannah Lefcourt and Ricky Betts received the “Outstanding Freshman” awards, and sophomore Kelsey Raftis won the “Outstanding Sophomore” award.

Sophomore Grace Roberts was given the “Director’s Award” for the second year in a row. The “Cougar Crescendo Award,” given to a section of choir, was received by the Men’s Chorale.

Roberts feels that his choices were self-explanatory because they were well earned by the students who received them. “The awards were self-titled. If the student did a great job and was exemplary of practice, attention to detail, and putting in extra time, then he or she was rewarded for it,” he explained.

Grace Roberts believes that she received the “Director’s Award” because she has shown great leadership in and out of the classroom throughout the course of the year. “I’ve been a leader of my choir for 2 years. I always take roll and help Mr. Roberts keep control of the classroom,” she said. “It was good to get recognition for the role I’ve played in choir,” she explained.

Winner of the “Outstanding Sophomore” award, Kelsey Raftis was surprised. “I’m really happy. I wasn’t expecting to get it, so I felt really honored to receive the award. I really care about choir and it was nice to see my passion recognized by Mr. Roberts,” she said.

While the first half of the concert was formal, the “Pops” portion included lively renditions of popular songs, such as a Hannah Montana collaboration and Blake Shelton’s country mega-hit “God Gave Me You.” Each section of choir took the stage and danced and sang while a live band played in the background.

Sophomore Annie Loose believed the concert emphasized the development of the choir. “I think the significance of the concert was to show how much we’ve grown as a choir over the course of the year,” she said.

Roberts claimed that the concert was analogous with a final exam for the choir students because it involved practicing all that they had learned throughout the course of the year. He was satisfied with their progress, and believed that each section had grown immensely. “They’ve all improved greatly. Their attention to detail and understanding of cooperation has really progressed,” he said.  

Now that the performance is over, they will be practicing and rehearsing for the choir final. They will also be helping Roberts move materials from the choir room to CPAC. “We have to move everything out, so we’re essentially packing,” he explained.

Although Loose enjoyed the concert, it was somewhat saddening to her because it signaled the end of Women’s Ensemble for her class. “The concert was a little bittersweet because this was the last time our choir got to sing together. Next year, most will join Concert Choir. But, I thought that we had fun out there, and hopefully we entertained,” she said.