Getting in Tune with the Holidays

By: Brittany Arp

Eisenhower is starting off the holiday season on a high note. On December 19, Senior Choir, containing students from 9th-12th grade, and the middle school choirs from our school performed their annual holiday concert. The singing of holiday tunes began promptly at 7:00pm and lasted approximately an hour and a half.  Led by Ms. McMonigal, a new teacher in our building, chorus students sang holiday tunes from different genres of music. The Squire sat down with Ms. McMonigal to ask her about her first concert experience at Eisenhower.

The Squire: How are you enjoying your time at Eisenhower?

Joy McMonigal: I truly am enjoying my time here at Eisenhower. The Music Department students are such a joy to work with and so respectful, and the faculty and staff are like one big family.

TS: How did you choose the music for the winter concert?

JM: With being hired for the choral position just before the school year, I first had to listen to the balance of the choirs, and where the voice parts were. Mrs. Pearson had a lot of help separating music in the choral library into vocal parts, making my job much easier when looking for music to fit the make-up of our groups.

TS: How have you and your students prepared for the concert?

JM: Both the middle school and high school choirs have been rehearsing their holiday selections since September, shortly after we started school. It is the only way we have enough time with the music to adequately learn what we need to in order to prepare for the holiday season. “Fantasia” and “Dreamers” also meet before school as an extracurricular activity to learn some more choral pieces.

TS: What further planning goes into the production of the concert?

JM: After listening to the vocal parts and choosing music, we begin the learning process of simply learning the notes and rhythms of the songs. At times we listen to other vocal ensembles and how they sang the arrangement, and what we would like to do with our version. Once the bulk of the music is learned, we start adding in dynamics, accents, etc. to add color and shape to the pieces. As we get much closer to the concert, we work with our accompanist to solidify the music as well as joining the two middle level periods together as well as the two high school periods of choir, as they do not get to sing with each other all of the time. To finalize everything, we will be decorating the stage for Christmas and creating the program for friends and family members to follow along with while we present our concert.

TS: What other concerts will the choir hold in the future?

JM: Both middle school and high school choral students will be presenting a concert in the spring as well as various smaller opportunities to sing throughout the season.

Senior choir and the middle school choirs put an enormous amount of effort into their concerts, which was obvious to those who attended the concert.  Check back to The Squire to find out more details about upcoming concerts throughout the school year!

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