Singing Their Way to Victory

PHS Choirs Receive All Exemplary Scores at Large Ensemble Festival


Ava Bearskin

On Tuesday, March 15, Pattonville’s Choirs performed at State Large Ensemble and received an Exemplary score from every single judge. “It’s the first time four choirs have gone and received these incredible results,” Mr. Baker, one of the PHS Choir Directors, said.

Matthew Jacobi, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time in history, all of Pattonville Choirs received an “Exemplary” rating from every single judge, the highest rating possible at the state large ensemble festival on March 15.

“Every choir student brought their A-game and they crushed it!” Mr. Baker, one of the choir directors, said. “Ms. Lamb and I were overjoyed with the scores.”

“I was so happy to find that we did well, but we’re amazing, so I wasn’t very shocked,” junior Jahlil Johnson said.

Each choir performed two prepared pieces in front of the judge, as well as a sightread piece that they performed for the first time.

“I enjoyed ‘Dieu Qui La Fait Bon Regarder’ the most,” Johnson said. “The extremity of the contrast in dynamics was unlike any song I’d sang before.”

Lucas Gerst, junior, said his favorite piece was either “In Veniam” or “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” “They are both very fast, big, impactful songs that sound awesome when everyone comes together,” he said.

Autumn Varner, a senior, said that they did really well with coming together as a team to perform.

“After being separated for so long, getting us all together working as a team was the best thing that we did,” she said.

“We really only had three or four rehearsals with everybody,” Patrick Ferguson, junior, added, “so there were definitely some setbacks.”

Varner thought that something they could have worked on more was dynamics. “We had to really focus on dynamics for quite a bit because it just wasn’t there,” she said.

Students also had to sightread a piece of music for the first time in front of the judge.

In order to practice, “we sight-read every day in class,” Mr. Baker said. “The students have a weekly assignment for homework so we can go into the sight-reading room and really impress the judge.”

The sight-reading judge said to me afterwards ‘you guys should be arrested for murder because you all KILLED the sight-reading.’

— Mr. Baker, PHS Choir Director

Gerst said that sightreading the piece was the hardest thing for him. “I am very new to this and would have definitely gotten a much lower score without the help of everyone around me.”

Choir students were on the bus when they found out they had scored all 1’s.

“I thought we did pretty good,” Ferguson said, “but I didn’t know how the scores would come out.”

“Ms. Lamb started crying when she found out and you could see the relief on her face,” Varner said.

Johnson encouraged any students interested to join choir. “If you or any of your friends enjoy singing, join the PHS choir! You’ll love it!”

“We couldn’t be more proud of the students and their hard work and dedication to the choir program,” Mr. Baker added. “We are excited about our upcoming trip to Chicago, and have a lot of exciting stuff planned for next year!”