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Solos seal honor choir seat

Four months ago, campus choral musicians recorded solos into a microphone to submit an audio application to be considered for this year’s honor choir.

Nine out of 20 high school ensemble members (Katelyn Aydelotte,’08. Michaelah Aleman,’08, Richard Garcia,’08, Matthew Nickel,’08, Taylor Brouwer,’09, Adam Casuga,’09, Shane Darakjian,’09, Luke DeGroot,’09, and Scott Yantis,’09) will represent the five states of the Western Division on the American Choral Directors Association (California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Utah).

They will head to the America Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) Western Division convention in Anaheim Feb. 27- March 1 held at the Hyatt Regency.

Each student will spend approximately 60 hours rehearsing with the honor choir over their three and half day stay at Anaheim. After their performance, the choir will spend the rest of the evening in Disneyland.

“I am incredibly proud of each of these students not only for being selected to represent Fresno Christian,” director Aaron Bryan said. “Also for the work they are putting in on an individual basis. These students are expected to show up the first rehearsal with their music learned.”

Students are responsible for practicing most of their songs at home. The majority of those recognized on campus have sung in choirs throughout high school. Brouwer has participated in choir since fifth grade.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and all our practice is done at home,” Brouwer said. “I think it will be a great experience and going to Disneyland is a bonus for our achievements.”

These nine were selected out of the thousands of applicants to join the choir of 207 singers for the convention attendees, including choir directors of all levels.

They will sing under one of the premier choral conductors in the country, Joe Miller, from Westminster Choir College of Princeton University.

“This is an exciting event, but don?t assume for one second that this is a vacation for these students,” Bryan said. “This is sure to be one of the most draining and demanding things they have done to date. They will be pushed to their limits mentally, physically and musically throughout the very long rehearsal process.”

Aydelotte does not only singing in the music suite, but also in her free time.

“I have been singing since I was little,” Aydelotte said. “I am honored to know I was picked out of thousands of applicants. I feel I am being acknowledged for my efforts and hard work. It should be good experience and fun to sing with fellow vocalists.”

The convention headliners, Peter Boonshaft and Ann Howard Jones, will present two different aspects of choral conducting. A performance by the Crystal Cathedral Choir and Orchestra directed by Donald Neuen will also take place during the convention.

“This is also sure to be an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved,” Bryan said. “They will grow as musicians and as young people through this process and on Saturday afternoon they will represent their hard work to an expectant audience of over 1000 conductors from around the western states.”

“The applause they will receive comes from individuals who understand how much work and effort they have put into this process,” Bryan said, “and I will be standing, proudly applauding these students.”

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