Music Notes: The Achievements and camaraderie of the HHS Choirs

During a joint concert with Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, Hudson Chamber Choir presented ‘Nyon Nyon’ by Jake Runestad. Each voice section created their own choreography to match the spunky energy of the music.
During a joint concert with Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, Hudson Chamber Choir presented ‘Nyon Nyon’ by Jake Runestad. Each voice section created their own choreography to match the spunky energy of the music.
Hudson High School Choir Facebook

Whether you’re looking to revolve your life around music or simply dabble in it, HHS has practically every option for musicians. Within the Hudson choirs, even more opportunities arise amongst their five ensembles: Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, Bella Voce, Chamber Choir and Vocal Impact.

The choir program has gone through massive changes throughout the past four years. As the music department and the rest of the high school readjusted to normal after the end of the pandemic, the choir jumped back better than ever with the creation of a new ensemble and a massive fundraising event.

Hudson’s newest choir is Bella Voce, an auditioned ensemble for soprano and alto voices that was introduced in the 2022-2023 school year. It currently stands as the smallest ensemble, with only about 12 to 16 singers each year.

Junior Charlotte Hill reflects on her time in Bella Voce. “Having a smaller group definitely makes us have to be more aware and on top of their music, but also allows us to grow more and become better musicians. Our group is always so energetic and lighthearted, too. We have a good balance [of work and play] within our choir.”

Another beneficial addition to the choir family was the Choir Cabaret, the choir’s primary fundraising event. Unlike the traditional choral concerts in the high school auditorium, the Cabaret is a unique event off-campus featuring solo acts and modern pop a cappella pieces that are typically reserved for Vocal Impact.

“Choir was missing a fundraising event and the chance to fund new opportunities because they are quite expensive experiences. I was inspired by where I was doing my student teaching because they had two cabarets there – one for Halloween and one for Valentine’s Day – and those were always well-attended.”

Due to the success of the first cabaret, the choir used the money they raised to host their first Composer-in-Residence with composer and conductor Sydney Guillaume. Guillaume also commissioned a piece called G on Jan Pou Ye for the Hudson choirs, which they premiered during their Concert of Choirs in February 2023. 

Based on last year’s fundraising efforts from the cabaret, the Ohio State University Men’s and Women’s Glee Club will be doing a workshop at HHS during the school day with Hudson Choir students next month.

The cabaret isn’t the only special event the Hudson choirs have participated in. Besides the quarterly concerts, the choirs have a joint concert with Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in the fall, Vocal Impact tours the elementary schools and other places around Downtown Hudson during the holiday season and the choirs perform while on national and international trips.

Regarding school trips, all HHS choirs are invited on the music department trip with the Sinfonietta orchestra and band to DC and Virginia this April. Chamber Choir also had the opportunity to travel to Ireland for a 10-day performance tour last summer.  

Most recently, the Chamber Choir participated in the OMEA District competition at Nordonia High School. While there, they earned a well-deserved Superior 1 rating and now qualify for the OMEA State competition. 

While all these choir events and achievements may sound overwhelming to some, the countless hours spent in rehearsal have only fueled each singer’s love for music and connections with their fellow musicians. 

“I think there is no more personal instrument than the voice,” shared Moore on the uniqueness of choir. “What students don’t seem to understand until they’re in choir is that there’s a special sort of unwritten bond in a team but especially choir since you’re not having to spend time in weight rooms, you can just come as you are.”

Senior Lindsey Ross, the President of the Choirs, has felt this firsthand during her four years within the choirs. 

“You may be having a bad week or a bad day, but right when you cross that threshold into the choir room, everything feels a little bit better. I would not be the person I am today without my friends that I met through choir, especially on the Ireland trip. I wouldn’t have the current friends I have today if it weren’t for the choir program.”

Sophomore Joey Herman, one half of the choir PR team, agrees that the bonds formed through choir are everlasting.

“Choir has shaped me and my friends and the group I hang out with. It’s just such an amazing community. We see each other every single day and there’s just so many unique people who do many different things to meet. You change teachers every year, and you change classes with different people, but you’re always with this same group and I just think we all have built a strong attachment with each other because of it.”

The experiences of Ross and Herman perfectly match the HHS Choir slogan: “Everything we do we do together.”

The friendships and accomplishments made through the choir program continue to grow year after year. As the end of this school year draws closer, it’s clear to all graduating members how much the program has developed over their time at the high school. Whether it’s their first or last year, all the singers know that they’ve found something special through the HHS choirs that will hopefully stick with them beyond their time at the high school.

Music Notes is a column published each quarter that covers the various music groups within the Hudson High School Music Department. This column’s purpose is to provide more awareness of the music opportunities at the high school. For more information on all the music ensembles’ upcoming events, head to https://hudsonhighschoolmusic.com.

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