Choir Takes The Stage at Choralpalooza

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Choir Takes The Stage at Choralpalooza

All of the choir singing “This is Me’ together. (Photo courtesy by Mrs. Lauren Voight)

All of the choir singing “This is Me’ together. (Photo courtesy by Mrs. Lauren Voight)

All of the choir singing “This is Me’ together. (Photo courtesy by Mrs. Lauren Voight)

All of the choir singing “This is Me’ together. (Photo courtesy by Mrs. Lauren Voight)

Hannah DeVoe, Staff Reporter

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The Warren Hills Advanced Choir took the stage at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey in mid-November to share their love for singing in an annual event called Chorapalooza

Choralpalooza has been running for 20 years and was first established by Mrs. Barbara Retzko, Ridge Choral Director, and Mrs. Karen Gorzinsky, Somerville Choral Director, as a way for high school students to come together for a full day to share a passion for choral singing.

Every year the Advanced Choir takes a trip to sing two hand-picked pieces to perform and get critiqued by the guest speakers.

One of this year’s guest speakers was a YouTuber with 76,379 subscribers who traveled with various Broadway musicals: Natalie Weiss. The other guest speaker was one of the assistant professors of Choral Music and Education at The College of New Jersey and is also the director of the College Choir: Nicholas McBride.

The day began with McBride warming everyone up with vocal exercises. He also explained the different ways to show emotion on one’s face with a scale.

“On one side, we have Disney cruise ship employees and on the other side is Children of the Corn,” McBride said when explaining the scale of singer emotion.

Throughout the day, choirs from five schools performed a variety of songs, and each had a soloist sing a different song. There were five schools present that day, aside from Warren Hills.

McBride would critique each group’s songs while Weiss  listened to the various soloists and their songs.

After lunch, Weiss taught the group how to break down riffs by listening to the different notes within one word or phrase. She also performed the song, “With You” from the musical, Ghosts.

Next, all the choirs got together to do one big song. This year’s song was “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman.

Warren Hills sophomore Kaileigh Cagnassola, a second-year choir member, shared her feelings on what she loved about the day.

“I definitely loved doing the riffs with Natalie. Those were so much fun because we got to let loose a little bit,” she said. “I also really loved all of the choirs coming together to sing “This Is Me.” It was so much fun and the sound was really good.”

Maggie Alder, a sophomore, talked about why she participates in choir and loves music.

“Choir is my being; if I don’t have choir, I will cry,” Alder said. “Music gets me through all my anger, sadness, and also happiness.”

Paige Butler, a junior and third-year member of choir, shared what she learned from the day.

“I learned how to sing better and to put more power in my voice,” she said. “Also learning how to express myself while singing.”

Mrs. Lauren Voight, choir director, shared her insight on how the day went for the group.

“Choralpalooza was very exciting and great. Our performance went very well. I think that we got a lot of good advice from Dr. McBride. Also, our soloists, Sal Montero and Cody Jackson, got a lot of good advice from the guest artist, Natalie Weiss,” she said.

Voight shared one more thought about the trip.

“Everyone is loving it and everyone is there for one reason,” said Voight. “And that’s the love for singing.”