From Classes to Rehearsal: How a Chorus Concert Coalesces

Staff Writer: Emily Hailstone

Woodstock High School Chorus has had a long record of beautiful performances, and the upcoming fall concert is no exception. Each class had worked diligently under the direction of Ms. Alderman, the new chorus director, to develop memorable pieces for their concert.

Ms. Alderman discussed her experience coming to Woodstock High School. “I have loved getting to know the fabulous students here and getting to learn the new skill of becoming an orchestra teacher.”

Ms. Alderman has been teaching for five years, but this is her first year at WHS. She began her career teaching at Lassiter High School in Cobb county as an Assistant Choral Director. “This is my first-year teaching orchestra, and while I am terrified, the students and I have developed a way of understanding that bypasses the vocabulary and goes deeper because we love making beautiful music together.”

Ms. Alderman has been singing her whole life. Her love for music is deep-seated in her teaching and in her everyday life. Her father is a classically trained organist and her mother is a classically trained soprano. Music is in her blood and she shares her natural abilities through her teaching.

Alex Perryman, a WHS junior, raved about his Men’s Choir class. They have worked hard to accomplish much on their difficult pieces and have come a long way from August. Alex discussed his class, “It is very fun, and I love the people. The new teacher really is amazing.” Eric Marlow, a colleague in his class described, “Chorus is fun, relaxing, and just a positive environment.”


First period Men’s Choir rehearsing their pieces around the piano to hear their voices work together more closely.

Among other things, chorus students learn about music theory, learning how to develop their music talents, and learn how to unify their voices to make art, but some may wonder what is new to chorus. This year, there is more student leadership as Ms. Alderman has established an officer board for chorus. These officers help keep chorus organized and help Ms. Alderman with her many tasks.

Ms. Alderman has also created what is known as “Therapy Thursday.” Therapy Thursday is a day where Ms. Alderman’s classes do not rehearse, but instead discuss life and the stresses the students are experiencing. The students can tell stories or ask Ms. Alderman or the class for advice on pretty much anything.

Katherine Blackwell, a WHS freshman, explained the rehearsal process, “We started on solfege and at the basics of the music, then we added the words. It is very different from middle school, but the class has helped me get more comfortable with tougher music.”


The Women’s Intermediate Choir standing in choral posture as they serenade all those in earshot with their elegant voices.

Every student joined chorus for a different reason. Some have had years of experience, and for some this is their first year. However, the unity in chorus passes experience and is instead dedicated to talent and trust.

Developing the music to become the story it needs to tell can be a daunting task. Sheridan Bass, WHS senior, details, “I enjoy when the songs we are working on finally click. When we can get past our obstacles and enjoy our success.”

Ms. Alderman believes, “Progress can be measured daily, and every class is always different. Plans don’t always work, so it is easier to walk into class and hear where the students are at and adjust what needs to be adjusted. What we work on may not be planned but is what we need.”


Ms. Alderman can almost always be found behind her piano carefully executing each note to perform the best she can for her classes.

With their fall concert fast approaching, the classes made their final tweaks and iron out the last-minute wrinkles in the music. Every student was looking forward to something specific about the upcoming concert.

Alyssa Bennett, a WHS sophomore, expressed her excitement about “getting to listen to different groups and knowing what to improve on for later.” Others like Jessie Cook, a Woodstock High S senior specifies “I’m just excited for how we are going to sound. We have worked so hard and I’m excited for the audience’s reactions. I’m also excited for Ms. Alderman to experience her first concert with us.”


The Mastery Women’s Chorus shines in school spirit and radiates the joy they receive from performing.

Next semester all the chorus classes will be attending “LGPE.” LGPE stands for Large Group Performance Evaluation. It is a day where choral groups from surrounding schools showcase very closely refined pieces to get the highest score possible. “The best way to explain it is that it is the fine art version of a State Championship” Ms. Alderman explains. LGPE is not strictly a competition between choral groups, however. It is also a chance for choirs to learn from each other and determine characteristics that they want to include in their future performances.

The consensus of the classmates concluded that every member has worked hard and has gotten to grow together. The students working together in harmony is the best harmony any piece of music could contain. The chorus concert on Oct. 22 was a night to remember.

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