ShareThis Page
P-R students selected for state chorus festival |
North Hills

P-R students selected for state chorus festival

Karen Price
| Friday, January 4, 2019 1:30 a.m

Several Pine-Richland High School singers and one teacher are taking their talents on the road this winter.

Seniors Bryan Bails, Seamus Daniello, Spencer Harris, and Lucy Hess, juniors Thomas Andrews, Olivia McGeary, and Claire Tobin and sophomore Kristen Donahoe were all selected for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 1 Chorus Festival, which will be held at Mt. Lebanon High School Feb. 6-8 and culminates in a public concert on Feb. 8.

In addition, high school choral director Lee Rickard will be the guest conductor for the Haverford County Middle School Honors Choir Concert in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 11.

Students audition for the district chorus, and being chosen is no small feat. Roughly 400 10th, 11th and 12th graders from 60 schools across the five Southwestern Pennsylvania counties auditioned for 160 spots, Rickard said.

Once selected, the students receive the music they’ll be performing and are expected to know it by the time the three-day festival begins.

“Those eight kids and I will work after school or find rehearsal time and I’ll teach them the music,” Rickard said. “The expectation is to show up knowing it so that when they get there it’s all about putting it together and doing things at a really high level.”

The music and number of pieces vary from year to year, Rickard said, but generally highlight different backgrounds, styles and influences and it’s all quite challenging.

“Most of them are pieces that most schools won’t have the ability to perform on their own,” he said. “The idea is that the more advanced students are able to do a higher level, more collegiate level, of work because you’re taking the very best out of the five counties.”

The opportunity to work at a higher level than usual is just one of the positives Rickard says these district ensembles offer. He’s served as guest conductor at a number of such festivals in recent years as well as watched many a student from Pine-Richland take part in festivals ranging from district through state levels.

“It’s an enormous amount of fun, mostly because you’re working with the really top level singers and the cool thing is that they’re all coming from different schools,” he said. “So many times in school functions we have them set up — especially in sports — where it’s one school versus another and they’re rivals. Rarely do kids get the opportunity to do things cooperatively among schools. It’s a chance to expose students to different schools, different people and different ways of doing things. I find that an extraordinarily neat thing for kids to be able to participate in.”

Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributor.

Categories: Local | North Hills
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.