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We Don’t Just Sing, We Are the Song


PRHS Choir students perform in their Spring concert while spreading the belief that music is for everyone 

By Cadence Eastep, Reporter

For the first time in two years, the PRHS PAC was filled with over 25 overjoyed, enthusiastic choir singers who helped show the 7 p.m. audience the happiness that music brings. Under Director Gaylene Ewing, the AP Biology and choir teacher, Concert Choir and the 7th period Advanced Choir course, named “Forte,” created an artistic night that explored classical and modern music – plus graphic design and painting. From a live painting to student directed pieces, to guitars and trumpets joining in with the choir, the night offered noticeable variety to its audience. 

The concert opened with Concert Choir’s performance of “The Cuckoo,” arranged by Robert I. Hugh. The piece saw Humberto Cera, the PRHS band teacher, slapping the front and rear faces of a cajon (along with the choir’s singing). Senior Phoebe Hancock painted a live portrait while the choir vocalized their magic. She depicted a gray cuckoo bird flying from a basic wooden birdhouse with a yellow bordered clock swinging beneath. 

Senior Phoebe Hancock with her live painting she created during “The Cuckoo”

After “The Cuckoo”, Concert Choir performed two pieces, one of which was “Cantate Domino”, student directed by junior Juan Chavez and written by Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni. Ewing introduced the student director practicum to the plethora of extra opportunities for choir students this school year. This year, Chavez and sophomore Eve Iacovelli Barajas were chosen and asked to pick a piece they wanted to pick apart and teach to the choir. 

The second-to-last song of the first act was a medley of The Phantom of the Opera songs, featuring both Concert Choir and Forte. A spotlight shone down on a monkey music box as the audience sat in suspense. All of a sudden, its song ended, and the performers revealed their faces with the shine of flashlights they were secretly holding before the lights went up and they began to belt.The piece featured multiple solos: sophomore Lillian Shroyer, Chavez, sophomore Haley Summers, senior Carson Reneau, and junior Cadence Eastep.

The first act came to a close when Barajas directed her song “Dies Irae.” This performance was by Forte, and the piece comes from the overarching collection of songs called “Requiem” by Mozart. Barajas says she loved the process and outcome of teaching this song. 


“Being able to teach my choir a song I’ve adored is awesome, but even more awesome is watching them perform it!” Barajas explained. “The choir did amazing, and it’s so cool to see a bunch of people perform something I taught them.”

Sophomore Eve Iacovelli Barajas directing “Dies Irae” for Forte

The second act featured pop-culture pieces. The lower voices performed an acapella rendition of “Sh Boom,” by The Chords, and the higher voices sang an acapella version of “Royals” by Lorde. The Forte Quartet, consisting of Barajas, freshman Erin Rowins, Reneau, and juniors Frank Giardina and Gabriel Olivo, also sang two pieces. 

Lower singers making the audience swoon with their choreography while singing “Sh- boom”
Upper voices bedazzled in jewelry while performing “Royals”

Forte finished out the night with their legacy song, a number that every student in Advanced Choir has learned for years, titled “You Are the New Day” – arranged by Peter Knight.

Though Concert Choir is done performing for the year, Forte’s final performance of the 2021-22 school year will be at Graduation on Friday, June 10 at 7p.m.

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