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Students combine voices for performance

TERI VANCE

Nine-year-old Mikhaela Hoff has always liked to sing.

“It’s really soothing to me,” she explained. “Usually, when I’m in the shower I sing to myself.”

On Thursday, Mikhaela’s voice combined with about 250 others for the annual all-city choir performance where all the schools come together in song.

“It’s different than singing at your own school,” said Brittney Richardson, 10. “It sounds a lot better with a whole group because you can hear all the other parts.”

Each fall music teachers choose a selection of songs to sing in the concert. Individual choirs begin practicing at their schools in January. However, there is only one rehearsal together the morning of the big show.

“It’s hectic for about the first 10 minutes when you’re trying to get 250 kids on stage,” said Mary Law, music teacher at Seeliger Elementary School. “Once you hear the result of all those wonderful voices, it alleviates all the stress.”

Students from four elementary schools, Seeliger, Fremont, Fritsch and Bordewich-Bray, joined with students from both middle schools for a performance of 14 songs.

“Listening to the older kids gets them ready to join choir in middle school,” said Mark Wurtzel, first-year music teacher at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School. “My kids are already saying they wish they could sing the songs the middle-schoolers are singing.”

Ashlynne Lockie’s favorite song of the concert was “Baseball Fever.”

“It’s just really fun,” she said. “It’s a family singing about how they love baseball and they’re at a baseball game.”

The song combines cheers, “Home run, we need one now,” with jeers, “C’mon blue, that’s a ball, anyone can see that” and intertwines lyrics from “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Students also moved in perfect harmony to the choreography of “Dansi Na Kuimba,” a Swahili song about the birth of music and dance.

“A long time ago when the world was still young, all was quiet and calm, just the rocks and the sun,” they sang. “There came a beat that was steady and strong. Soon the music was born and the dance was begun.

“Dance while the music sings to you.”

Music teachers gave students several pieces of advice to remember for the performance, including to enunciate and to lift up the soft pallet to hit the high notes.

Perhaps the most useful came from Fritsch Elementary School’s music teacher Geanne Hansen.

“Stand up tall, hands at your sides,” she instructed. “And bend your knees – no stiff knees.”

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.