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Come Sing With Us in Chorus, Wolverine Singers, Vocal Ensemble, or Madrigals!

By Ellie ’26

Hello! My name is Ellie, and I’m here to tell you about the choir programs at Harvard-Westlake. I’m currently an 8th grader in Madrigals and was in the Vocal Ensemble last year. Personally, choir is one of my favorite classes; I get to sing with and meet so many wonderful people, and honestly, I couldn’tt be happier to sing in person again. It’s refreshing after a year of being stuck in my room and finally being able to hear the incredible sound that we can make as a group, blending perfectly to create beautiful chords and melodies. 

Now let’s get to know the choirs! There are five choirs at the middle school: Girl’s Chorus, Boy’s Chorus, Wolverine Singers, Vocal Ensemble, and Madrigals. To view which choirs you can audition for, please reference the Course Descriptions of each class on the Harvard-Westlake Website :). Something to note is that all of the ensembles except for Madrigals aren’t co-ed. The rest of the choirs consist primarily of girls or boys. But, students who identify outside of the gender binary should enroll in the class that best fits their experience and vocal range regardless of gender. Harvard-Westlake aims to create a safe and accepting environment, and the Choir Department hopes to change the names of the beginning choirs to focus more on vocal parts than gender to make sure that everyone is welcome. Vocal Ensemble, Madrigals, and Wolverine Singers all require an audition to enroll in the class. These auditions usually consist of assessment on solfege, sight-singing, and a range check/warm-up. The auditions are one-on-one with the choir teacher Mr. Keilbach, the director for all the choirs at the Middle School. Throughout the year, the different ensembles work together on pieces so you can experience and hear what it sounds like to be in a co-ed choir and work and learn together with friends in different classes. Choir classes rehearse as a group and in sectionals throughout the week. You work with your section (sopranos, altos, tenors, basses) with a teacher or your section leader to individually focus on what you and others with similar voices need most.

I love choir because it isn’t just about singing and music: it’s also about meeting new friends and creating closer bonds with the people around you. Singing is a very vulnerable thing, and as a result, we enter the choir room with an open mind and no judgment. I’ve become closer with many people because of choir, and so have many others. It gives you a chance to enhance your singing and musicianship and create new memories and bonds with people you probably wouldn’t have, and that’s something I’m grateful we get to experience. 

In conclusion, I hope I helped you gain a little more insight into the choir programs at Harvard-Westlake, and I hope to see you in the choir room sometime!

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Tags: , , , Last modified: October 25, 2021