MINDEN - The drama and music rooms at Douglas High School were transformed into three rehearsal halls Wednesday, filled with approximately 200 honor choir and jazz band high school and middle school students anticipating tonight's performance.
About 100 high school honor choir members from 12 schools belonging to the Northern Zone Nevada Music Educators Association sang in harmony to songs like "Sicut Cervus," "Stars I Shall Find" and "The Earth, the Air, the Deep."
"Be sensitive please. Louder is not always better," said Carson High School choral director Susan Sonnemaker, who was filling in until guest conductor Don Brinegar, professor of music and director of choral and vocal studies at Pasadena City College, flew in from Los Angeles. He arrived about 11:15 a.m.
High school students from across Northern Nevada met for one rehearsal Monday afternoon at Dayton High School, but middle school students didn't get to rehearse until Wednesday. Tonight, they will perform a free concert in the high school commons room at 7:30 p.m. It includes five numbers by the high school choir, four by the middle school choir and four by the jazz band.
Of the dozen schools participating, there are three from Carson City - Carson High School and Carson and Eagle Valley middle schools, plus five from Douglas County - Douglas and Whittell high schools and Pau-Wa-Lu, Carson Valley and Kingsbury middle schools.
Derrick Grim, 18, a senior at Carson High, said it was "highly recommended" that they try out. He sang a few years ago, and tried to get into choir at two other high schools he went to in the last two years, but was unable to. He was happy when he enrolled at Carson High to find out choir would fit into his schedule.
"This is my first year of getting to do this," Derrick said. "It was nice to know I'm still in the swing of things."
Rachel Jackson, 15, a home-schooled sophomore who belongs to Douglas High's Madrigals, said it was a requirement that they audition.
"It was really cool. I was really shocked that I got it," she said.
At each school, choir and band members were asked to audition for the NZNMEA in November. Winners were announced in December.
"What they sound like right now is nothing compared to what they'll sound like tomorrow night," said association president Mary Ryan, who is also the vocal director for Pershing County schools.
Ryan has been involved with the educators music association for at least 20 years.
"There are four zones in the state," Ryan said. "This is the northern zone. We include schools from Lovelock to Tonopah."
Ryan said 12 schools are represented in the middle school and high school choirs, and six in the jazz band.
Jazz band director Andy Heglund, teaches percussion and directs the ensemble and jazz ensemble at the University of Nevada, Reno.
• Contact reporter Jo Rafferty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 210.
If you go
What: Northern Zone Nevada Music Educators Association honors choir and jazz band with concert
When: 7:30 tonight
Where: Douglas High School, 1670 Highway 88, Minden
Information: 782-5136 ext. 1102