Region Chorus: The night the lights went out

by Sam Shelenberger, Staff Writer

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The PMEA Region 2 Choir practiced by phone light after the power went out during rehearsal on March 1.

Olivia Hoffman, Mrs. Susan James, and I recently traveled to McDowell Intermediate High School for the PMEA Region 2 Chorus Festival, one that will surely be remembered by all who attended. In fact, no one could have anticipated the random events that would unfold over the next few days.

The first day was relatively normal. We arrived and practiced for a bit before being sent off for auditions. Each section went to a separate holding room to wait for the auditions to begin. When we entered the audition room, we had to sing a scale and two selections from our music we had been practicing for over a month. One of the pieces we had to sing for the audition was in German. When the results were announced, Olivia placed seventeenth chair and I was thirteenth, both out of 20.

After dinner we resumed practicing, and around 8:30 p.m., the power went out. Surprisingly, the 165 teenagers sitting on the stage didn’t panic or move. We all calmly got out our phones and turned them on, using the flashlights to illuminate our music. It was a truly remarkable sight to see. The guest conductor somehow got a glow stick and used it to conduct the choir, allowing practice to continue for the rest of the night.

After practice, the choir was split into the four sections: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and each section got a bus back to the hotel. Due to the two hour delay, everyone had to be out of the hotel by 10 a.m. Every bus except the tenor bus was loaded and sent to the school, but ours was nowhere to be seen. The entire time we waited for the bus to come, all 35 tenors stood watching the television in the lobby, screaming what the captions said.

On Saturday, we started back to the school, ready for the concert. We made it halfway down Peach Street and then had to go back to pick up the sopranos because their bus broke down. On our way back, the road was blocked by a semi, which led to a lot of remarks from the tenors as a whole bunch of cars attempted to make their way around it, many without success. The concert went off as scheduled, thankfully, and we all headed home.

And we agreed that even though nothing that happened was planned, there were plenty of memories made that weekend.  

Burger and Stewart make music at Region Chorus

By Jade Allen, staff writer

The 2017 PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Region Chorus was held at Freeport High School on Feb. 23-25. This year’s participants were seniors Emily Burger and Jesse Stewart. Burger advanced on soprano 1 and Stewart advanced on tenor 2. They were accompanied by Mrs. Susan James.

The musical selections of this years Region Chorus were: “Miniyama Nayo,” “Beati Qurum Via,” “Dixit Dominus,” “Pure Imagination,” “Praise The Name of God With A Song,” “I See The Heaven’s Glories Shine,” “I Am His Child,” “For the Fallen,” “Sing As One,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The guest director for the concert was Dr. Ryan Beeken from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). “It was a great experience to have Dr. Beeken conduct the concert because I got to talk to him about joining the choir at IUP and got to know him a little better.” said Stewart, who will be attending IUP in the fall for a degree in music education.

After the audition process, the chair placements and results were announced. Emily Burger placed seventh chair on soprano 1 and Jesse Stewart received fifteenth chair on tenor 2. The top four chairs in each section move on to states.