The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 2, 2013

Grand Valley Choir competes at state event

Star Beacon

ORWELL — The Grand Valley High School choir program is preparing for a very exciting event. The high school choir is participating in the Ohio Music Education Association State Choir Contest this month.

At the start of the school year, the new choir director, Robert Cannon, started to prepare his students for the Ohio Music Education Association District V Choir Contest. The District Contest is held in January, and the students work all year preparing to compete. They must learn and perfect three songs. One of the songs is a required song, and the other two songs are chosen by the director. The students in choir rehearsed these songs for nearly three months. Then in January, the Grand Valley High School Choir headed off to Howland to participate in OMEA District V Choir Contest.

There are two parts of the competition. During the first part, each choir from northeast Ohio has the chance to perform the three songs they have prepared in front of a panel of highly esteemed musical judges. Then, each judge rates them based on their performance on a scale from “I” to “V.” A “I” rating is the highest rating, otherwise known as a “Superior” rating; “V” is the lowest rating. During the second part, the choir must sing a selection that another judge chooses on the spot. The choir is given only a few minutes of rehearsal, and then they must perform the piece twice in front of the judge. This judge also gives the choir a rating. At the end of the performance, all the individual ratings are averaged together and the choir receives one overall rating. When the Grand Valley High School Choir competed in January at the District Contest, they received a “I” overall score, rating them “Superior.” This was exciting news for the choir and the new director. When a choir receives a “I” rating at the District Contest, they are then invited to continue on to the state level competition.

Grand Valley High School Choir will participate in the OMEA State Choir Contest in Jackson. The choir has been preparing since District Contest in January. They will go through the same process, but with more difficult music and harder adjudicators. The students in the choir are very enthusiastic about the experience.

Senior choir member Gina Roberson said, “I am pretty excited to go to State Contest this year. It is great that Mr. Cannon can take us this year, especially since it is his first year as director. Props to him!”

The choir will be performing two of the same songs they performed at District Contest at State as well. Over the past few months they also introduced a new song that was a little bit more difficult than the last. The choir members do not seem intimidated at all.

Senior choir member Frances Harrison said, “We worked really hard on our music. We should be confident in our performance at State.”

The choir has been able to participate at the OMEA State Choir Contest for the past three years. They hope to bring home another “Superior” rating again this year.