Maybe the Pantheon Choir isn't exactly like "New Directions" from Fox's hit sitcom Glee, but students have seen some choral traditions head in a new direction—pun absolutely intended.
Traditionally, each graduating senior in the school's Pantheon Choir has been recognized during the spring concert. These introductions added a considerable amount of time to the concerts, and some argued that the interruptions to the program distracted from the music being sung.
After much debate, it was decided that the senior recognition would be moved from the stage to a senior banquet. When this change was initially introduced, I admittedly was on the side against reform. Ask anyone in the senior class, and I am confident that most would say I am usually a proponent of change and improvement. But, moving senior recognition off stage just did not sit well with me.
As a student who formerly pursued many of my extracurricular activities outside of the school district, I was looking forward to my one moment of senior recognition within the school. The idea of that one singular moment of small-scale stardom being moved to a banquet upset me.
After attending the banquet this Sunday, though, I am happy to say that the new direction led by our choir instructor Ms. Milovac turned out to be a very positive addition to my senior year experience. Moving senior recognition to a banquet setting did not reduce the importance of the moment for each senior; the change made the moment feel even more important.
Choir has always been a part of my schedule; however, on Sunday night, choir became more a part of my life. Until my peers began sharing their most memorable music department moments, I had not thought of the impact that the high school choir has had on me.
Some shared how learning to sing with friends was a real confidence booster; choir was the one activity that made many students come out of their shells. Looking back, choir did that for me as well. When I entered high school, I had a strong group of friends with whom I had been familiar all throughout my middle school years. Beyond my tight knit group of friends, though, I was not very adventurous.
After making it through a blush-inducing rendition of "Happy Birthday" on my first day of ninth grade Women's Choir, I started to reach out to my 16 new friends around the piano. Sure, we were an eclectic bunch of athletes, academics, and artists, but we all sang the same songs. Music became the common bond between us, arguably an otherwise incompatible group of students. The music brought us together and has, since then, held us together.
The senior choral banquet on Sunday recognized the strides we have made over the last four years. We have grown from skipping six pages of an elementary song mid-performance two years ago to nailing a 20 minute showing of Schubert's "Mass in G" this past Thursday.
Even though it was initially resisted, the senior banquet for members of the Pantheon Choir was one of the most beneficial changes to choral tradition. The evening allowed choir members to share memories, recount humorous happenings from department trips to Disney and recognize the friends made since freshman year.
A big thank you to the Choral Boosters for helping with the event, and an even bigger thank you to Ms. Milovac for never giving up on us.