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Choral Carolers

Posted 12/14/2018 by AJ Domagala

Spartan voices share holiday cheer with the audience. photo by AJ Domagala

Spartans spread holiday cheer and choral talent.

TJ’s choirs have worked extremely hard this semester, putting on a performance in the fall as well as a more recent holiday concert. The two shows were divided into four sections, showcasing the skills and practice put in by the Monticello, Advanced, Men’s, and Women’s choir classes.

With only half of a semester to prepare for the fall concert, Choir Director Tambyr Reed pushed her students, selecting difficult yet manageable pieces for her beginner choirs. As she explains, “The focus was on trying to get the most diverse and challenging literature as possible without overwhelming them.” The fall performance also featured small ensembles of students, split into men’s and women’s sections. These groups of musicians from Monticello and Advanced choir congregated during their lunch periods to work with Reed and prepare their set of songs for the performance.

The most recent concert took place on December 11th in the TJ auditorium. In order to emphasize holiday spirit, the song selection for this performance included several common holiday carols, including “Silent night,” “Jingle Bells,” and the “The Hallelujah Chorus,” in which the audience had the opportunity to perform alongside the students from their seats. Reed’s intentions for this concert were to choose pieces of music that shift the more progressive choirs’ focus away from difficulty and more towards the gratifying elements of choral pieces. Reed emphasizes her viewpoint, saying, “The holiday concert is a good way to relax on difficulty, and focus more on the joy of singing.”

In addition to the two concerts this semester, the Thomas Jefferson Choir Department also hosted The 87th annual City-Wide Choir, an annual event that welcomes students from several DPS schools to perform in one grand concert. The mass choir was split into three groups, including a high school ensemble choir, a high school chamber choir, and a middle school choir. Several rehearsals took place throughout the course of the event, treating Thomas Jefferson as a home base for the practicing process. In total, 16 TJ students made it through the auditioning process and performed in the concert on November 3rd.

Monticello, TJ’s traveling performers, also had several opportunities to showcase their skills as a group outside of class. For instance, they performed at the Wellshire Golf Course for Councilwoman Kendra Black as well as Mayor Hancock. They also had the opportunity to perform in front of cameras for Fox Network’s christmas special. Reed is working to open up several more opportunities for these students this upcoming semester.

Going forwards, Reed intends to continue pushing and shaping the skills of her several choirs. With a wealth of talent and premium instruction, choir is sure to succeed in both concerts scheduled for the spring semester.