Vocal pops-stars

As the vocal pops concert approaches, selected choir students prepare for their moments in the spotlight

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Standing center stage, junior soloist Emily Chriss rehearses her song for the vocal pops concert. “I can get nervous when I’m performing, but I push through the nerves and keep going,” Chriss said. She auditioned with the song “Always remember us this way” this year after being chosen last year to sing in the concert.

Justice Seay, Staff Writer

The blinding spotlight hits a performer’s face as they step towards the microphone and take one last breath before singing‒this is a sensation that terrifies many, but for the vocal pops concert performers, it’s everything they dream of.“I like all the different varieties of styles and being able to see the kids sing in their own personal favorite way. It lets them show their individuality,” choir director Julia Holt said.

On Feb. 4, the choir program presents its annual vocal pops concert, a performance unique compared to others held throughout the year, as the performers are soloists and group acts instead of the usual full choir concerts. The event is separated into two time slots; the first at 6 p.m. for the Eagle Voices and Treble Choir class performers and the second at 7:30 p.m. for Show Choir and Women’s Chorus.

Holt held auditions during choir classes on Jan. 24 for any choir students interested in doing a solo or group performance. Students auditioned for a chance to showcase their personal talents, as opposed to singing in a larger group. Audition criteria included: preparation, picking a song that fit the singer’s voice and stage presence that engages the audience, according to Holt.

“I was confident auditioning because I got in last year’s [concert], so I was hopeful that I would probably get in again,” junior soloist Emily Chriss said. “I was really excited when I found out I was chosen to perform.”

Preparation, on both Holt’s and the singers’ parts, is necessary in order to hold the concert. It’s expected the performers rehearse their songs often in advance of the concert in order to perfect their singing techniques and ensure they know their songs.

“I keep going through the song over and over again,” Chriss said. “Sometimes I like to go over the song with my mom to help me prepare for [the audience].”

Aside from the singers’ preparation, work must be done by Holt as well. The day of the concert, stage technicians from drama club help to set up microphones and decorations. During classes, Holt has the students practice their songs on stage to get a feel for singing with a microphone in front of an audience.

Throughout the year, choir performs on multiple other occasions, three of which being held at Eisenhower. During other concerts, students have the opportunity to audition for smaller solos within group songs or larger ones that must coincide with the chosen theme. Having already performed in front of audiences helps prepare singers for the pressure of the pops concert, according to Holt. Additionally, the choirs practice warm ups and songs daily in class.

“[The concert] gives a lot more kids a chance to be able to sing something on their own that doesn’t have to fit the themes that we have for concerts and it allows for more opportunities for solos,” Holt said. “Singing every day definitely strengthens your voice and having opportunities to audition for smaller solos throughout the year builds up confidence and know what to expect by the time we get to this point.”