La Porte High School hosted their 2017 Fall Choir Concert on Wednesday night to a packed house. It wasn’t just the high school kids that performed either, students from the Boston and Kesling Middle School 8th grade Choirs also participated. Add to that the high school choirs, which were the Beginning and Intermediate Women’s Choirs, the Men’s Chorus, Treble Chorale, and Mixed Chorale, and there were over 300 students participating in the event at La Porte High School’s Auditorium.
The Choir Concert began at 7:00pm with the 8th grade choirs from Boston and Kesling singing “We Know the Way,” from the popular and recent Disney Musical Moana, followed by offerings from the Beginning and Intermediate Women’s Choirs, the Men’s Chorus, Treble Chorale, and Mixed Chorale.
The event is a time of bonding for the students. For Brandon Gurrola, a senior at La Porte High School and a member of the Mixed Chorale, he couldn’t say enough good things about the students he sings with and the experiences they have.
“What I love about the choir is, honestly, the atmosphere,” said Gurrola, “Everybody in the group is amazing. They bring in a lot of different things, it’s overall an amazing experience.”
While performing might be a source of anxiety for some, Gurrola looks forward to showcasing what he and his classmates can do as singers.
“[I look forward to] being able to show people what we do, perform for them,” said Gurrola about performing in events like these, “and use the stage and have fun.”
The unifying factor between the students in every choir is a sense of family and kinship. Katelyn Cormican, a sophomore in Treble Chorale, said she loves the atmosphere that being in choir brings.
“It’s like a family,” said Cormican, “It’s eventful, there’s a lot of drama, but in the end it’s just very fun.”
Cormican also enjoys the sort of rush involved with singing in front of a packed house.
“I love that you just get so much adrenaline and excitement about it all,” she said, “I can’t wait to hear what the audience thinks.”
For others, such as Sandra Young, another sophomore in Treble Chorale, it’s about the performance itself.
“I’m very nervous, but also very excited because we’ve been practicing for this moment,” said Young about performing in concerts such as the Fall Choir Concert. “Once you perform it, you get into the act and the motions. I enjoy that.”
After the first half of the concert, there was a brief intermission where LPHS Choir Director Thomas Coe showed off a recruitment video his 2016 students put together to draw more kids into the choir program.
After each choir took the stage, the concert closed out with two outstanding performances; one where each student who performed that night lined the auditorium’s stage, the front of the house, and the outermost isles to sing a song together, and a final performance by members of the high school’s many choirs of the closing number of the popular Broadway musical “Hamilton,” “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?”
After the performance, Director Coe was more than happy with his students’ performances. For him, he’s proud of his students, who have begun to blur the lines between the separate choirs and work together.
“We’ve started doing some different things in classes,” Coe explained, “where all of the classes get to know each other a little bit, so they’re a little more connected together.”
While each choir used to work individually, their members have now begun to know each other.
“That’s been really good,” Coe said, “because now younger students know kids in the top choirs and vise-versa, so that’s been an interesting dynamic this year."
Meanwhile, Giovanny Tapia, a senior in Mixed Chorale in addition to Show Choir, which did not perform Wednesday evening, mentioned that the unity and sense that he’s part of a greater family of students was still a constant. He summed up the event and what it means to the students very well.
“I definitely love the very familial atmosphere of it,” said Tapia, “it’s very nice to always have a group of people you can count on to be there, and you kind of grow around one specific activity. It really means a lot to have people you can share that with.”