Woodstock Choir and the History of Choral Music

Staff Writer: Maya Walstead

Music is so important to so many people. In Woodstock chorus we sing many different types of music in many different languages.  

Covid was so difficult for our choir because we could not perform in front of people. We had to do online performances for about a year. An article from the Los Angeles Times says that a choir just went ahead with rehearsal and many of the members got Covid. This is one example of why we had to sing with masks on for so long. 

Caroline Powell is an 11th grader. She has recently made it to the second round of All-State chorus. She says, “All fine arts everywhere suffered due to the unknowns- we weren’t sure if we could play our instruments, sing, what have you, because we just didn’t know. This also affected our numbers- because schools were shut down, fine arts programs couldn’t go to elementary schools and expose those students to music, and the amount of students in each program suffered.” 

But now we are back, and we have learned from our covid experiences. Our spring concert is probably the most popular because we usually try to sing some pop music.  

Our choir includes different skill levels. Mastery women’s is the hardest to get into at school because it involves you having to try out. But regular chorus you don’t have to try out. And men’s choir we unfortunately don’t have enough to have a mastery class.  

According to Britannica.com “Apart from plainsong, there was no singing in the early church.” According to this website choirs have also led to the beginnings of opera. Before opera, people really only sang together, but with opera you can show how truly powerful your voice is. 

Credit: http://icb.ifcm.net 

This is a Russian choir. Before the adoption of Christianity, they would play instruments while they sang. But then when they adopted Christian ways people weren’t able to sing because it was viewed as unpure.  

Sight reading is also a big thing in chorus, and also being a soloist. Sight reading is just looking at a piece of music and being able to tell what notes to sing. However, being a good sight reader takes a lot of practice. Being in a choir that can sight read well is important so you can learn pieces faster.  

Credit: pianosightreading.com 

This is a sight reading example. Although it is a piano example, it is essentially the same as a choral example. 

According to https://www.interkultur.com, one of the first choirs is from ancient Greece, they sang in drama pieces and only in unison, and you can tell this choir is old because they had to inscribe their music in stone.  

People have joined choir for many different reasons. Whether it be because they needed to feel like they are a part of something or they are just a talented singer. Macie Bruderer is also in chorus. She says, “A few of my friends were in it already. And I was in band at the time, so I figured since I already knew a little about music, I should join.”  

So many people are impacted by music. And knowing the history of how we got it can help us improve it in the future. 

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