By NEHA CHOUDHARI, sophomore
The spring choir concert took place on May 5, and proved to be a successful night for the choir students who sang under the direction of Mr. Lee.
Choir students dealt with many unexpected changes and needed a new director, as Mr. Meszaros left in October. Temporary substitutes controlled classes, but no progress was made for the impending concert. Mr. Lee, a JP alumnus, took Mr. Mezaros’ place by officially becoming the JP’s choir teacher in January. Mr. Lee stated, “This year has been a very strange one for the JPS Choir. The choir had its winter concert almost two months later than usual due to many factors, so most of the music that we performed at the spring concert wasn’t started until the beginning of February.”
The concert commenced with a variety of songs from the concert choir, which comprised of all students who took choir as a class or study hall elective. The four songs performed were “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves,” “Tres Cantos Nativos dos Indios Krao,” “Let the River Run,” and “Rock-a-My Soul.” In addition to singing in the beginning of “Tres Cantos Nativos dos Indios Krao,” singers snapped and imitated animals to mimic the sounds present on the banks of the Amazon River. Percussionists senior Evan Wong, sophomore Jared Borja and sophomore Jaaee Nadkarni used bongos and other instruments to further represent the sounds of nature.
The men’s ensemble then began their performance, and sang “Brothers, Sing on!” and “Tshotsholoza.” Sophomore Aditya Nibhanupudi was soloed in “Tshotsholoza,” while the percussionists were senior Evan Wong and sophomore Jared Borja. Both songs sang by the men’s ensemble were powerful with clear tenor and bass parts. Following the men’s ensemble, the women’s ensemble performed “Bring Me Water,” “Silvy,” “Lux Aeterna,” and “Dance on My Heart,”and were accompanied by junior Brianna Tang on the piano. The chamber ensemble then performed “Sing Joyfully,” “Lux Aurumque,” and “The Conversion of Saul.” While “Sing Joyfully” was an upbeat song, “The Conversion of Saul” was a dynamic piece that depicted the change of heart of a malicious man who originally raped, tortured, and abused others.
The acapella ensemble, a group that sang without the accompaniment of any instruments, then performed. The acapella ensemble performed “All That Hath Life and Breath”, “Jerusalem”, and “My God is a Rock”. Kenneth Lamp, the composer of “Jerusalem”, visited JPS earlier this school year to talk to students, so a capella students were honored to perform this song. “For this concert, we just needed a lot more practice,” remarked senior Shriya Khonde, soloist for “All That Hath Life and Breath” and second winner of the Maestro award at Roxbury,“ Despite the limited time we had, everyone pulled through and worked together as a whole. I mean, we do call ourselves the the GCF- Greatest Choir Family.”
For the last song of the concert, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”, all ensembles combined as one and invited alumni and audience members to join them onstage. Many older siblings of current choir members jumped up on stage and sang along. “It really felt like I was back in high school again,” said Neel Nadkarni, a JP alumnus of 2010 who sang at the concert, “Of course, I didn’t know the people around me, but I still felt connected to them because that one song brought all choir members together. The feeling was indescribable.”
At the end of the concert, Mr. Lee humbly thanked the principal, custodians, and students who made the concert successful. He announced the success his students had had at the all-state auditions, as all the students who auditioned got into the program. He then handed the microphone to a few seniors, who surprised him with gifts for being an amazing teacher. Mr. Lee, as an avid Star Wars fan, not only received a card and flowers, but also a Stars Wars car charger and a R2-D2 cup. After seniors gave their heartfelt speeches, the new choir presidents were announced. Junior Shivam Bhatt, the current choir co-president, passed on the torch to his co-president and junior Shobhana Sridhar and sophomore Jared Borja. The 2016-2017 choir presidents and choir are excited to make next year even better since the Spring Concert is the last concert of the year. “Our potential to grow more and more is a never-ending journey,” junior choir president Shobhana Sridhar commented, “While my first year as co-president was a heck of a ride, I’m extremely excited for what is to come next year, during my second and last year of office. I know next year will be magical, because even though all our members may not be best friends with each other, we develop a sense of unity with our voices and create our own JPS choir team.”
Image Source: http://ovms.vail.k12.az.us/activities/after-school-choir/