NWL students perform in county chorus festival
Thirteen Northwestern Lehigh High School students participated Feb. 1 in the 2020 Lehigh County Chorus Festival.
The performance was hosted by the William Allen High School in the renovated Dr. John F. McHugh Auditorium.
Northwestern Lehigh Music Director Allison Kline took part in the festival for her first time.
“This was my first experience with the Lehigh County Chorus,” she said. “I had been a part of the Schuylkill County Chorus as both a student and a director.”
Students performed choral arrangements of current and inspirational music, as well as music from soundtracks of the movie “Skyfall” and Let the River Run from the film, “Working Girl.”
More than 85 students from eight different high schools formed a combined chorus that practiced and performed under the direction of different high school music directors: Rachel Reinecke, Salisbury, Edward Hong, Whitehall, Robert Arnold, Catasauqua, Neil Chaban, Lehigh Valley Charter School of the Arts, Jennifer Dodd, Dieruff, Christopher Hamm, Northern Lehigh and Brandon Remp of William Allen.
Students had only three practices before the performance.
“With the little amount of preparation time that the full choir has, it is imperative that everyone, students and directors alike, work together,” Kline said. “I feel that was certainly the case in my experience this year.
“The students brought their A game to each rehearsal and performance and my fellow directors all came in with great musical selections and various teaching techniques to put together an outstanding performance.”
Kline played the piano for a few of the choral pieces, and also directed a favorite piece of music.
“I am a little partial to ‘Skyfall’ as it was the piece that I personally got to rehearse with the group, however, the closing number “Let The River Run” is an all-time favorite of mine and I always love to hear it performed,” Kline said.
The audience seemed impressed with how the chorus came together so well, so quickly.
“I think there are many cooperative forces that need to come together to put on a wonderful performance,” Kline said. “We were certainly blessed with some amazing talent in the students who came from each of the school districts represented, but the directors from each school all put in time as well to prepare both their students and their individual musical selections.”
County chorus is an annual showcase of musical talent throughout the Lehigh Valley.
“County chorus is a wonderful opportunity for students and schools alike,” Kline said.
“Schools get the chance to showcase some of their finest musicians and open them to new experiences.
“Students get the chance to sing with other talented musicians from across the county in a choir that is most likely much larger than those in their individual high schools.”
Kline also noted the students are exposed to a variety of different styles.
“They have the opportunity to sing repertoire that is challenging and to experience other directors teaching and conducting styles,” Kline said. “Directors, myself included, certainly benefit as well as we get the chance to conduct a large ensemble, to challenge students with pieces we may not have the opportunity to perform at our own schools and also to observe the teaching and directing styles of other educators.
“I learned quite a bit from watching my colleagues run a rehearsal and I hope to bring that back to Northwestern Lehigh.”