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Music offers varied opportunities

January 16, 2019

Music offers varied opportunities

By Brithany Cervantes


A major part of the fine arts program at WPBHS is music. The departments provides entertainment for a variety of activities.

Preschool through high school sing songs at the Veterans Day Program. At the National Honor Society initiation, students from the high school choir entertain the audience; also, high school choir members sing the National Anthem at some sporting events.

Katrina Umland, first year teacher music director, recently conducted her first pre-k through 6th grade winter concert. “At first it was terrifying and scary. I worried a lot, but it all went well in the end,” stated Umland.

Choir is required from pre-k to 4th grade. After that, it is up to the student to decide whether he wants to pursue music further.  

“I believe younger kids should stick with choir. A lot of people quit after their first year. They don’t really try it out or put any effort in it. I always enjoyed the couple hours I had to be someone different on stage, in choir, and in musical.” commented senior choir member, Myla Illian.

Beginning in fifth grade when choir is given as an elective, honor choir opportunities exist.

Choir members get the chance to compete at Wayne State College and sing in front of a judge.

“I participated in Wayne State Honor Choir in the middle school level fifth through 8th grade, and the high school levels freshman and sophomore year. I made lots of friends that I continue to talk to.” commented former choir member Kailey Pena.

On the high school level, honor choirs are more competitive. Usually, an audition must be submitted and later the performer is informed whether he qualified.

Sophomore, Gerardo Osorio, qualified for the B.O.C.H. Festival (Band, Orchestra, Choir, Honor) Festival held at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

“Once you do many honor choirs you gain confidence, not just for choir, but for speaking in front of large crowds. I had lots of fun at the B.O.C.H. Festival, and I made many memories with Myla and others.” stated Osorio

Another arm of the music department includes the annual musical.

In 2013-14, WPBHS joined GACC and performed Seussical the Musical under directors, Tabetha Vogt, WPBHS and Chris Frisbie, GACC.

“There is more possibility for cast and crew members, we split cost of everything which also means we’re able to use the wonderful community theatre. Also, both schools come together in a non-competitive way.” stated former WPBHS choir and musical director Vogt.

There are many struggles when scheduling practices. Sports and activities get in the way a lot, but it’s worth it because musical helps develop friendships between both schools.

“We definitely form relationships among both schools and ourselves! I think that is so important with two high schools in a small town! I also love how we all have to create these and work together in order to be successful,” stated Vogt.

This will be Umland’s first time directing a musical. “I am definitely very nervous, but I am excited to see who fits each role. Combining with GACC will be interesting; I like it that we work together.”

This year, Umland will be working with Frisbie on this year’s musical, Oklahoma. The great part about musical is that participants don’t have to be in choir to join musical. Auditions will be held January 14-15 and the performances will be in April.


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