On a day when they didn’t have school because of parent-teacher conferences, 130 middle school students gathered in the auditorium at Grandview High School. They stood in the first few rows of the theater, paying close attention to a woman on the stage. That woman led the students through a series of exercises that might have looked and sounded strange to an outsider. The students circled their hands in front of their faces, pointed forward and reached skyward, all while making long and short vowel sounds or long sustained tones.
It was all part of the Cherry Creek School District’s 2nd Annual Middle School Honor Choir event, which involved 130 of the district’s most talented middle school vocalists. Those students, selected through a rigorous audition process, had the chance to work with guest clinician and conductor, Dr. Leila Heil, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
"This is a wonderful enrichment opportunity for our students who are excelling in their choir classes at school to go deeper, to work with other kids who also have that same passion and interest in choral music," said Clare Dardis, the choir director at Laredo Middle School. "They also work with a wonderful conductor and learn more about vocal technique, reading music and doing more than just singing the notes on the page – really bringing that music to life.”
Here's a behind-the-scenes peak at their very first run-through.
After just a few hours of rehearsal, the Middle School
Honor Choir will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 2, in
the auditorium at Grandview High School. The concert features an
impressive program of challenging musical literature, including a piece
by Mozart and several works sung in other languages.
“I think people will be blown away by what these middle schoolers sound like,” Dardis said. “It’s going to be a great show!”