The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Choir Flies Higher for Superior Award

Choir+Flies+Higher+for+Superior+Award

Audrey Jarrett

Staff Writer

On March 18 and 19, ACHS choir was judged on their tone, diction, dynamics, and more. On a scale of one to five, one being the best, they received the top score in every category and later accepted their well-earned award. They were competing against other area high schools such as Fairfax and Falls Church. The seventy-seven member combined student choir received a one in each category, showing off their talents.

Part of the women’s choir and advanced choir, sophomore Maria McLemore expresses, “When I heard we got superior ratings, I felt super proud. The school’s choir has been getting superior ratings for years now, so I’m glad we got to uphold the tradition and continue our legacy.”

Mr. Theodore Thorpe, in his 12th season of being a teacher and mentor of the choir program, explained how all this hard work paid off. “It’s the same joy and jubilation when you know that students have been working really hard and even though achievements are exciting and certainly add icing on top of the cake, for us it’s more about the process than the desired outcome.”

Despite challenges with many of the students coming from being in a pandemic, and wearing masks that restrict being able to sing clearly, Thorpe says, “Choir is all about community, so doing the virtual season was really tough on our performers…with about 70% of the choir being completely new…and to go from where they stared in August to just recently receiving superior ratings across the board, is I think is one of our greatest feats since I’ve been here.”

Within the ACHS choir association, there are three main levels: mixed, concert, and advanced. There is a separate women’s choir as well, called Coloree Dolce (Col-OR-ay). Each choir level focuses on different music and difficulty level. Inside the three main groups, voices are split into four parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. “I like hearing the blend of other voices with all the different parts that go into it,” says sophomore Sarah McMahon.

Another student of the advanced and women’s choir, Sydney Payne, expresses how her experience with the choir has changed and harmonized with her. “I like all the different songs we get to perform. We do such a wide range of different songs, we get to try out a lot of different techniques and we learn a lot from the class.”

From the time students come in, to August, Thorpe really enjoys watching them grow and teach new skills. “Growth and learning is a priority in the fine and performing arts. It is the best time to watch students evolve musically throughout the year.” Similarly, Thorpe continues, “It’s always fun when our students can achieve but that’s even more fun when you pair it with falling in love with learning.”

McLemore, McMahon, and Payne are all part of the advanced and women’s choir. This year, they all agree that they’ve made improvements with the help of Mr. Thorpe and his knowledge. “He makes us better because he has a lot of intention and he knows what he’s doing,” says McLemore.

Spring, being the busiest time of year for schools, is also a time for competitions and end of year celebrations, such as graduation. The choir will finish their season performing at Christ the King Anglican Church on May 1 and their spring concert will held on Thursday, June 2, at ACHS.

Article Update

The ACHS Choirs sweep categories taking first place at the Busch Gardens Music Festival. They performed the weekend of May 13-15th, and all choirs, including the advanced, mixed, and Colore Dolce choirs won 1st place, Superior scores. The advanced and Colore Dolce choirs also won the “Grand Champ” award. Together, the ACHS choir won the Esprit De Corps Award. Along with the announcement, Mr. Thorpe shares, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of these students and their commitment to excellence in artistry.” Without three years of travel, and their first year performing at the Busch Gardens Music Festival, the students have worked extremely hard and have shown what ACHS’ choir is capable of.

Photo courtesy of Morgan Anderson

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Choir Flies Higher for Superior Award