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Exchange improves choir

While the drama and journalism students recently returned from New York, the choir began their own expedition to Los Angeles, March 21-25.

The ensemble, women’s chorale and women’s ensemble traveled to various high school and college campuses in the LA area, to exchange with other choirs. An exchange differs from a concert and allows students to listen to and perform for other groups. On occasion the two schools combine to sing together.

The campus choirs began their series of exchanges with Fresno Pacific University and then headed south. Over the four-day duration, they sang the first three days with Azusa Pacific University, Hillcrest Christian High, Apple Valley High and Fairmont Preparatory.

?An exchange is a little less formal than a concert,” Aaron Bryan, choral director, said. “Exchanges allow students the opportunity to sing for other choir students who understand the hard work they put into producing a refined choral sound. It is also helpful for me as a director because I am able to form new relationships with other conductors and learn by watching them work with their choirs.”

Aside from singing with other schools, the trip gave students an opportunity to connect with each other.

?Choir trips are really good trips for bonding,? accompanist Aarne Kela, said. ?Last year in Colorado I saw friendships grow and students gain support from each other.?

In effort to reward his students, Bryan took the choir to dinner at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament and the last day at Disneyland.

?The last time I went to Disneyland was in 7th grade,? Alyssa Quenzer, ?10, said. ?This year though since we were older we got a lot more freedom, so it was really fun.?

Since the class returned, Western Mennonite High School choir and director Russell Adrian performed with the choirs during periods 1 and 2 on March 26. Western traveled from Salem, Oregon, to perform an exchange on campus and will travel to Fresno Pacific University later in the day.

Western gave up part of their Spring break in order to make these exchanges. They have been on the road since March 23 and will travel as far south as Reedley, returning to Salem on March 28.

Bryan believes the exchange was successful and the critiques will improve the choirs’ Year End Conert on May 17.

?The trip went really well, my favorite place we sang at was Azusa,? Lorin Weskamp, ?08, said, ?because the director there gave us back a lot of useful tips and just how we can improve.?

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