Taking Choir to the Next Level
Story By Selah Wheeler – Staff Reporter
This week, William Jewell College hosted the All-District Choir for a day-long clinic and performance that night. Students from all over the area got the chance to learn new music and perform for their friends and family.
All-District Choir is an honor SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) choir for junior and senior students. The top 40 for each voice part make it into the District Choir, from all over the area. These students also have the opportunity to audition for State Choir later on, which takes the top six for each voice part.
“People think of sports, and districts in that sense, [and] it’s kind of like that for the choir kids,” said Addi Collins, a senior who participated in District Choir on Tuesday for her second time.
The process for District Choir starts with the auditions, which took place at North Kansas City High School. Prospective students prepared a song beforehand to sing. They sang their piece, were scored on that, and then went into another room to complete a sight-reading exercise. The Choir directors, Jonathan Krinke and George Peng, were there to support the students during the process.
“It was funny, ‘cause we would come downstairs and Mr. Krinke and Mr. Peng were there,” Collins said. “We’d tell them how we think we did, [and] just kind of have a little pow-wow moment. It was really fun.”
When students are selected to take part in District Choir, they receive their new music to look over and get the opportunity to experience choir outside of the classroom.
“Watching them work with other kids from other schools, outside of their own bubble, and having performances that can impact them…is one of those things that I think [is] a good part of it,” said Krinke on his favorite part of working with District Choir.
The first mass rehearsal for District Choir was on Monday, October 25, where participating students met at Lee’s Summit High School to practice the selections before event day. The next day, October 26, District Choir traveled to William Jewell to rehearse with a clinician for most of the day, then performed their pieces that night in a spectacular concert.
“Everybody who makes it into these choirs are really excited about music, and about singing,” Krinke said. “You’re there to create art, and just have a really wonderful experience.”
For Collins, the best part of her District Choir experience was working with the clinician. This year Dr. Brandon Boyd, music professor at Mizzou, worked with the students to help them get prepared for their performance.
“In years past, when I got to work with different choir directors, it’s really a great learning experience,” Collins said. “Everyone’s teaching style is a little different, and so they always have really good music selections as well…and music from around the world.”
For choir kids, District Choir is a great opportunity to expand vocally, work under different leadership, and connect with singers from other schools. It is a positive experience that can impact them for years to come.
Photo courtesy of Addi Collins