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AHS Choir Superior, Headed For State

The Archbold High School Chorale earned a superior rating at the district choir competition and has earned the right to compete at the state level.

Kent Vandock, Archbold High School vocal music instructor, said this is the second straight year the choir has advanced. AHS hosted this year’s event, Friday and Saturday, March 14-15.

State choir competition will be Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, at Van Buren.

The AHS choir is comprised of 107 students.

Sight Read

Vandock said for competition, the choir is given three pieces of music they had never seen. They sing each piece once, with a piano accompanying them, and then once a capella, or without the accompanist.

Judges weight the second performance over the first, because it is more difficult, Vandock said.

“They listen to see if you have the correct pitch, the correct rhythm, and whether you have good dynamics.

“They also listen to see if you’re phrasing. Are you making phrases of the music, rather than being mechanical. It’s like poetry. Certain words have more emphasis than others,” he said.

The first of the three songs was Praise Him Allelu, written by Carolee Cartright, as a fourpart song of praise.

The second was My Heart is Offered Still to You, which was originally a madrigal piece from about 1550, the time of the Renaissance.

The third was Breath onto Me, Breath of God. It was originally a Welsh tune that had words put to it at the turn of the century.

Last year, the choir sang music that was considered at the “C” level of difficulty. This year, the choir stepped up to the “B” level.

The choir received four scores; three from judges on the floor level, and a fourth judge, who listened for the choir’s sight reading ability.

The floor judges gave the choir scores of one, one, and two, while the sight reading judge gave the choir a one. When those score are combined, they received a number one, or superior rating.

Vandock said the judges commented that the Archbold choir “had a lovely tone that was controlled, yet powerful.

“They said the choir sang quite musically, with feeling, rather than just standing there as stick figures,” he said.

Many Students

Vandock said 1,500 to 2,000 students from 35 school districts attended the competition.

There were 49 separate choirs participating.

The event was sponsored by the Ohio Music Educators Association. – David Pugh

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