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Avon High School Choir students experience success, camaraderie and fun

Photography courtesy of Performing Arts Photography

When Rick Gamble began teaching choir at Avon High School (AHS) 29 years ago, a total of 67 students were enrolled in three choirs. Today, AHS has seven choirs, ranging from beginner to intermediate to advanced, with a total of 230 students. They include Oriole, Black & Gold, Symphonic, Chamber Singers, Allegros, Accents and Attraction.

Avon choirs perform at concerts and community events throughout the school year. They presented a fall concert, a winter consolation concert (in collaboration with the orchestra), a holiday concert, a preview concert, an organization concert and a spring concert. Each offers new music. They also perform at the Artsgarden, the Indiana State Museum, the Avon Christmas Tree Lighting, the Heritage Festival, the Avon Education Foundation and the Lions Club. The show choirs hold a one-day children’s camp where they teach elementary school students a song and dance, which they perform at halftime during a boys’ basketball game. The Allegros and chamber singers perform at the annual Madrigal Dinner. Choirs have also traveled to New York, Washington, DC and Chicago to participate in competitions and festivals.

We try to give our children a comprehensive musical education by teaching them to read on the site and exposing them to all genres of music and composers,” says Leah Trigg, who started teaching choir at AHS in January 2017. . We want them to be good at everything, not just one thing.

The choir hall contains countless plaques and trophies that choirs have won over the years. Their concert choirs have almost always finished in Group I, with outstanding sight-reading awards from organizational festivals. The Chamber Singers have been Grand Champions at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival many times and Grand Finalists at Ben Davis, Pike, North Central and Mooresville. They finished third in the ISSMA Concert Choir Competition in 2019. The Allegros were ISSMA State Champions four years ago. The Accents, Allegros and Chamber Singers have been finalists 17 times.

The choirsthe successes are due not only to the students’ inherent talent, but also to the training they receive from Avon’s choral programming, beginning before they enter high school. Erin Slavens directs the girls-only show choir and Attraction, and also teaches choir at Avon Intermediate School West.

Accents (the mixed choir) has between 50 and 60 members. Attraction has between 60 and 65 members. Show choirs compete in four to five competitions on Saturdays in January and February. AHS also hosts the Avon Vocal Invitational, which draws thousands of people each year. When the show choir season is over, they compete as a concert choir. This year, four concert choirs competed at ISSMA Group I level.

I say to the children, Our success is not determined by trophies, but by hard work, fun and delivering a good product,” says Trigg. The trophies are the icing on the cake.

This year was the first time at schools story that both show choirs competed at the state in the same year. Attraction placed second and Accents placed sixth. Also, last spring, several choirs traveled to Universal Studios to compete nationally. As the mixed show choir queued to enter the park, they were caught in a downpour just before their performance and had to perform their set soaked from head to toe. Their mind, however, wast amortized. Kyler Casbon, who graduated from AHS last month, said his favorite memory from all his years in the show choir was placing fourth in Orlando after playing soaked.

“One of the best lessons I’ve learned from show choir is to give 100% in everything you do in life, even in practice, even when you don’t feel like it, even when you’re struggling,” he says.

The choir teaches skills that can often benot play sports, because in a choir, everyones in the game all the time.

It’s impossible to bench someone if theynot doing well,” Trigg says. “You do notI don’t take it for thatI sing badly and I say, II’m just gonna put another viola thatit’s better tonight. I do not have anyDon’t just take the top five people as the basketball coach. We’re all in it, all the time.

When COVID-19 hit, choir programs around the world had to assess how to sing safely. Although Avon faculty wants to ensure that it takes all necessary precautions to ensure that studentsphysical health, they also recognized the importance of maintaining mental health.

Any sense of normalcy has been ripped out,” Trigg says. “We knew that if we took away the choir, the students would have nothing.” They wore masks, distanced themselves and quarantined themselves if necessary. But they never stopped happening.

WeI am grateful for the support from our administration and our parents,” says Trigg. We also appreciate the Avon Choral Boosters, which raise funds for the program to keep fees relatively low.

Although any student is welcome to join the choir at any point in their high school career, starting early has its advantages.

II’m glad I participated in grade six because it helps you get a head start on sight-reading, rhythms, and keys,” says Casbon.

Abby Lex, who will be a junior at AHS this fall, recommends the show choir to young students because of the community it creates.

The older members are happy to show freshmen the ropes and teach them years of tradition,” says Lex. Thiss 60 new friends, immediate sisters and brothers.

Dylan Hensley, who is starting freshman year this fall, says that before joining the Avon Choir, the only singing he did was in the car with his mother.

“My confidence has improved tremendously from the choir show,” says Hensley. “I feel so confident on stage and I can fully express myself. I have the best time of my life when I’m on stage.

Thiswhat’s thisthat’s all.

We try to make our choirs feel like family,” says Slavens.

Not only is singing fun, but it can also be cathartic.

The choir is a place where you can release all the emotions you have inside of you through your voice,” says Slavens. When youI was taught to do it well, therethere is no other feeling like it.

The camaraderie is also a big part of why students love the choir. Slavens says thats because music connects people.

Choral music has been a big part of my life, a part that II had the privilege of undertaking at one of the best secondary music schools in the country,” says Gamble. Hesaw its former students blossom musically. Two went on to pursue careers in opera, another went to work in the Big Apple, and three currently teach music at schools in Indiana. Additionally, many students continue to sing in their college choirs.

Purdue music organizations have joked that they should send a bus for the number of kids participating in their organizations,” Gamble said. Indiana UniversityThe Singing Hoosiers group also includes many Avon alumni.

These students arenot necessarily study music,” says Trigg. They love him so much that they wanted to continue in college. ThisThat’s what we always hope for, that our students will develop a lifelong love and appreciation for all types of music, because life is better when there’s music in it.

This summer, the AHS choirs are offering a week-long camp for students in grades 3 to 8. To register for camp or to learn more about AHS choir programs, visit avonchoirs.com.

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