The WPHS Singers hosted their annual Benefit Concert in October, which raised nearly $1000 for uniforms, travel, and other costs associated with running the program. The concert continued the tradition of talented guest soloists supporting the development of younger musicians through performance. Guests included Dr. JerriLynn Williams-Harper, Tiffany Swetich, and Zeb Bellon. Assistant Director and Accompanist Megan Van Tassell performed as did Director Adam Young. Former WPHS Singer Hannah Hansen made a special trip from St. George to sing and current Bass and All State choir member Sam Sorensen rounded the soloists out.
The Singers shared their hearts in the second half of the concert, culminating with Andrea Ramsay’s “Through the Dark,” featuring text based on Helen Keller’s experiences. “I possess the light which shall give me vision a thousand fold.”
Shortly thereafter, the group traveled to Elko to participate in the Northeast Nevada Regional Honor Choir Festival. White Pine students earned 19 spots in the regional choir. The audition process required students to submit a recording of various melodic intervals, a chromatic scale, and a pre-selected section of a piece of music. Adjudicators score the submissions and build the choir. Sopranos Eva Sorensen, RayLynn Henne, Aiden Parent, Rainy Gay, Jade DeLeon, Aspen Henk, Keziah Nicholes, and Alaya Merritt; altos Lydia Kunz, Ace Rodriguez, Rebecca Murphree, and Kyanna Haynes; tenors Rylie Mattinson and Craig Reed; and basses Sam Sorensen, Zephen Nicholes, McCaul Nicholes, Matthew Nicholes, and Ben Rhoades represented White Pine well. Sorensen was also chosen as the bass section leader, meaning he had the highest audition score in the entire region.
Guest conductor Marc Taylor and accompanist Adam Young rehearsed the honor choir for two days before they performed on November 7. The remainder of the WPHS Singers traveled to Elko that day so that, as a member choir, the Singers could perform. They sang Daniel Gawthrup’s “Sing Me to Heaven,” a contemporary a capella ballad about the power of music. “Touch in me a love and passion, pain and pleasure. Touch in me grief and comfort. Sing me to heaven.”
The group delivered its Winter Concert on December 18 in conjunction with the WPHS Wind Ensemble and the WPMS and DEN choirs and caroled at the Care Center and various community locations during the last week of school before the break.
In the winter and spring, students will perform as part of the Nevada Music Educators’ All State Choir in January and the American Choral Directors Nevada Chapter All State Choir in April. They will perform at home multiple times (including the traditional spring concert) and travel to several choral festivals in the region.
The Singers also received a wonderful instrument to use for rehearsal and performance as the Centennial Fine Arts and Community Choir committees relocated the 9 foot Baldwin grand piano from downtown to White Pine High School.
Young, who was the ACDA Nevada “Choral Administrator of the Year” in 2023, relayed, “I am really proud of the musicianship and leadership our students are developing through the year so far. Their attention to expression is coming along as they connect with the music in ways that are meaningful to them. They continue to learn how to pay attention to detail and put in the work to get the product they want at performance time.”