By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published November 12, 2021
ATLANTA—Melodic sounds filled Woolridge Library during the Senior High Fall Choral Concert at Marist School on Oct. 26.
The annual concert has been held in the library for nearly 10 years because of the acoustics, explained Sharon Coheley, the choral director at Marist School.
“It’s just a nice little intimate area because we have a lot of smaller ensembles,” she said.
After two years of performing the concert without an audience due to the coronavirus pandemic, the choral ensembles and teachers were excited to be in front of guests again this year.
As a performer, there is nothing like a live audience experience, said Tim Johnson, the fine arts teacher who has worked with Coheley at Marist for 21 years.
“It’s been amazing” to come back, he said.
Marist Singers is a yearlong commitment for students, requiring morning rehearsals before the school day begins. Marist Singers perform at fall, Christmas, sacred and spring concerts, open houses and off-campus events.
Students were able to sing without masks by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The evening concert included eight songs of various musical styles, including madrigal, jazz, pop and Swahili music, performed by 11 choral students representing all high school grades. Johnson and guitarist Carter Rosales provided instrumental accompaniment.
“Dance On My Heart” by Allan Koepke is an upbeat tune about two men trying to win the heart of a woman. The song was performed by the Marist female trio, Piper Bjerke, Liv Kincade and Ellie Erwin. Kincade, Erwin and Angel Kinyua are seniors this year.
In the festive spirit of Halloween, the singers performed “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble” from Colla Voce Music, with lyrics adapted from “Macbeth” by Shakespeare.
The male quartet presented an a capella version of the classic song, “Stand By Me,” arranged by Deke Sharon and Anne Raugh. The Marist Male Quartet included Brennan Ujda, John Monnin, Drew Avitabile and Brent Porter.
“Music education is a vital part of becoming roundly educated and prepared for life,” the school’s website explains. “In chorus, students learn creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and personal responsibility every day. In addition, students learn interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate and influence a group to work together toward a common goal.”
The students have done a great job, said Coheley. “I’m really proud of them.”