How choir shaped me

If there was one way to define me all throughout high school, it would be that I was in choir. I began in Women’s Choir, which was the non-audition choir, because I was unable to choose classes when coming into high school. In sophomore and junior year, however, I was in Concert Choir, which was the audition-only choir.  In senior year, I could not fit Concert Choir into my schedule because it was the same time as Calculus. During all four years I was also in small ensembles, both jazz and Madrigal-esque, which helped me grow even more as a musician because I could not rely on others around me for my melody.

Because I could not be in Concert Choir in my senior year, I was very upset when I learned that they were going to Carnegie Hall. Imagine being upset all year that you have to be in the non-auditon choir with people who really don’t want to be there and don’t try to remember their parts, while you just want to have a great time being a part of an ensemble in which everyone can effortlessly create beautiful music. Naturally I was very unhappy when I learned that I the one year I was in the best choir, they would go to the mecca of performance, Carnegie Hall. Fortunately, the next day, the choir director asked me if I wanted to go with them as long as I learned my part on my own, and naturally I said yes. I still felt a bit of the “outside looking in” phenomenon, even if it was only in my mind, because I didn’t have choir with everyone every day despite that I knew everyone, but I didn’t care. I was doing what every musician hopes to do.


We practiced, practiced, practiced.





Come graduation, I had another nice surprise. I was selected to receive the Choir Award above all of my peers. I was shocked: I was certainly not the best singer—I there were plenty others who were better than me and had solos and had bigger roles in the spring musicals—but because I was in so many ensembles and did so much for the department (and my parents helped a lot), I received the medal.


Three years ago, high school graduation day, there I was.

My choir director was also very inspirational to me and he helped me a lot through high school, if only just by talking. I am a person who likes and needs some constants in my life, and I was fortunate to have one teacher throughout four years that I appreciated and could go to for help. On the rare occasions I can visit my high school now that I’ve graduated, I always make sure I have time to go say hello and chat. Our pianist was also my other favorite teacher, being the sweetest person in the world, although I did not get to spend as much time with her because she was also an elementary school music teacher. Now she’s at the high school full-time though, and I’m glad she no longer needs to travel so much every day to do her job.

And now my choir is in the running for the New Jersey Christmas Choir Contest for the 101.5 radio station. I love them so much, and I hope that they are able to win and receive a cash prize and new piano. So please, vote for my high school choir, West Milford Concert Choir, today until noon tomorrow.


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