Two Columbia High students will be singing with the best high school students in the state this Sunday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
The New Jersey All State Mixed Chorus performs their final concert this Sunday November 14, at 3:00 p.m. at NJPAC. CHS' Tyler Pease and Jake Rothenberg are part of this select and talented group.
Pease and Rothenberg are two of only 340 students in the entire state to have been selected to the All State Mixed Chorus, which is a vocal group comprised of New Jersey High School Vocal Music students. The group is administered under the direction of the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA)
Pease, a senior at CHS, is a veteran of the group, having been selected for the past three years—2008-2010. Rothenberg, a junior at CHS, is participating in his first All State Mixed Chorus.
Columbia High School served as the audition site last April for students from Northern New Jersey schools. All of the students who auditioned went through a rigorous testing process that included:
- Singing an 8 full note scale (do re me fa so la tee do)
- Singing a chromatic scale, consisting of 8 Half Notes
- Singing the fourth part of a four-part harmony while accompanied on CD by the other three parts
- A cappela singing for about 30 seconds
Students selected for the NJ All State Mixed Chorus were required to make a deep commitment in both time and effort, including attending a session in early June where they received and reviewed the music that they were going to perform in this year's program.
The students were tasked with learning their parts over the summer. Three extensive rehearsals were held this fall, in which students were tested to ensure they had learned their parts.
Finally, the students traveled to Atlantic City last Wednesday, November 3. Between early evening Wednesday and Friday afternoon, the students spent about 15 hours rehearsing their program. The practice culminated in an 8:30 p.m. concert s delivered Friday, November 5, at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. The students' final performance is this Sunday at NJPAC's Prudential Hall.
The NJ All State Mixed Chorus is broken down into 8 sections; Soprano 1 & 2, Alto 1 & 2, Tenor 1 & 2 and Bass 1 & 2. Pease is a Tenor 2 and achieved the 2nd highest audition score among all Tenor 2's who auditioned for the 2010 All State Mixed Chorus.
Pease auditioned in 2008 towards the end of his freshmen year and was selected for the 2008 NJ All State Mixed Chorus. Pease mentioned that he auditioned because "it was another big thing to do. Once I got in I was excited." Pease felt that the "first year was really hard" but he quickly began to see how All State afforded him the opportunity to "improve his sight reading and musicianship" and eventually enabled him to "become much better in interpreting music." Pease feels that these skills have helped him in his choral and musical theater performances.
Although Pease does not plan to pursue singing as a profession, he is sure that it will be an important part of his life. I want to keep singing," said Pease. "It's going to be a hobby I keep up for a long time."
Rothenberg noted how much was expected of students in the All State Mixed Chorus. "Rehearsals were nerve wracking and you were expected to learn a great deal of music on your own," he explained. "And you were tested on it at our first practice in the fall." Rothenberg came down with laryngitis about a week and a half before the Atlantic City event and had to rest his voice to ensure he would be able to perform. Nevertheless, he feels that the experience has helped him "become more professional and improve his technique."
The set list for the 2010 NJ All State Mixed Chorus (song title and composer) is listed below.
A Processional Hallelujah - Graeme Morton
Kyrie from Memorial - Réne Clausen
Wie liebelich sind deine Wohnungen (Op. 45, No. 4) - Johannes Brahms
The Peace of Wild Things - Joan Szymko
Spirituals (from Harlem Songs) - Gwyneth Walker
Pseudo-Yoik - Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
Past Life Melodies - Sarah Hopkins
Panda Chant II - Meredith Monk
Let Everything That Hath Breath - Jeffery L. Ames
O Fortuna Carmina - Carl Off
For more information about this Sunday's NJPAC performance or to purchase tickets, visit the box office.