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Celebration choir looks towards festivals with larger group (PODCAST)

The FC Celebration Choir has undergone several major changes this year. Due to a major increase of students in choir, particularly for Bible credit, the class had to be split into two groups, fifth and seventh period. Also, to allow the groups to rehearse together, director Michael Ogdon instituted a mandatory practice at 7 a.m. every Friday.

Ogdon noted that the most visible difference in the Celebration Choir this year is the number of students involved. The choir has roughly 80 students participating, which is also about 50 percent of the student body.

“Size is the biggest change this year,” Ogdon said. “We went from 35 or 45 students to maybe 80, so we move from a smaller choral group to a big group. Among the big group, 90% didn’t know anything about what to do when they started. We went from a smaller group that knew more to a larger group that knew less.”

Junior Kyle Hudecek sings as a bass in the fifth period choir. He noted some of the difficulties of having two separate choirs perform together.

“Having two different choir classes is tough,” Hudecek said. “I think it’s necessary to fit in everyone’s schedule, but I don’t like going to practice at seven in the morning on Friday. I really think having two different choirs lets us complement each other, because both choirs have different strong and weak points.”

While the choir practices their songs every day, there is also the Bible class aspect incorporated every week. Hudecek also discusses the advantages of combining choir and Bible into the same class.

“Choir has been really fun this year,” Hudecek said. “Mr. {Michael} Ogdon is a great director as well as a really cool Bible teacher, since he exposes me to things that I might not have thought of or situations I may not have noticed before in the Bible. I think it’s cool that we have Bible in choir on Wednesdays, right in the middle of the week of choir, since we focus on singing so much the rest of the week. A lot of the time in Bible we look at the meaning of a song instead of just singing it.”

Abigail Carothers,, ’14, performs in the alto section; she was in choir last year and returned to the group again this year. Carothers recalls some of the memories from last year.

“My favorite memory of last year was the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI Festival, when we all got to spend a lot of time together,” Carothers said. “It was good to practice all our songs with a lot of other people. We got to meet a lot of people from different places; it was just a lot of fun.”

The FC Choir has a series of festivals and concerts coming up, particularly in March. Ogdon summarizes some of the future choral events.

“In a couple of weeks we will be at Clovis North for the California Music Educator’s Association (CMEA), and we will be one of about 30 groups there for adjudication, and they will tell us if we are really good or if we need to keep working,” Ogdon said. “About a week and a half later, we travel down to San Diego for the Heritage Festival. After that, on the night of Monday, March 18, when we return, we have a choral concert with all the choir from the school will participate.”

Carothers is enthusiastic about the upcoming festivals for the music program, and looks forward to observing other choirs, and showcasing the FC music department.

“I’m looking forward to the festivals this year,” Carothers said. “I want to see what other schools are doing and let them hear what we can do. We always learn a lot from the judges. I really enjoy learning to blend with other people and learning to use the talents that we have in choir.”

PODCAST: Celebration choir prepares for festival season: Feb. 13, 2013–

The Celebration Choir has the CMEA Festival on March 4 and travels to San Diego for Heritage Festival March 14-16. The next choral department concert is on March 18.

Joshua Carter also contributed to this article.

For more features, read the Feb. 12 article, Students voice outlook on holiday: Join the discussion.

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    Aaron DeWolfNov 6, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Nice pic, bro!