By J1 Reporters Morgan Hobbs and Emma Eaton
The choir is a tradition at Marian. The change in who’s teaching the class doesn’t change the vitality of old values and routine.
No one knew what to expect when Ms. Cathy Pruitte was to retire after 35 years of instruction and a new choir teacher was going to take over. As a student of Pruitte herself from 2005 to 2009, Ms. Lauren Morrissey was up to the challenge of continuing on the legacy of Marian choir. “Ms. Pruitte and I stayed in touch after I left Marian and we had conversations about my future as her possible replacement,” new choir teacher Ms. Morrissey said.
Morrissey isn’t a stranger to the choir or to Marian. A graduate of Marian in 2009, Morrissey participated in all four musicals during her high school career. She was a part of the “Fiddler on the Roof,” “42nd Street,” “Annie,” and “Mame” productions. She also was a soprano throughout high school. It’s easy to see from her involvement she had the Marian values at heart.
The changes implemented this year were not significant and were welcomed by the choir students. Morrissey plans on bringing back old music from her high school days to teach to the choir girls. The changes to everyday routine weren’t drastic either.
“Everything mostly stayed the same except we sing a lot of solfege now,” according to junior choir student Ione Enderez.
Solfege seemed to be an important component of the new choir. “I wanted to bring solfege into our routine because I want the girls to learn to be independent,” Ms. Morrissey said.
Solfege is singing certain tones that correspond with a note on a scale. Therefore, replacing a word with a note. With the amount of solfege brought in, a new motto comes along with it. The motto states, “A choir that breathes together…sings together.”
The choir plans on taking this motto to several competitions they will be attending. Marked on their calendars are Feb. 28 and April 18. These are the dates of the choir’s two competitions: Drake University and Districts. with their new motto and knowledge of solfege, Morrissey’s students have another trick that they will be bringing to these showcases.
“Ms. Morrissey teaches us to sing outside of our range,” junior Julia Manganaro said. Manganaro has been a first alto since she was a freshman, but says this year she is learning how to sing notes in the soprano range. This skill might become very useful when it comes time to compete against other schools.
Along with a new teacher at the helm, the choir is also very excited for their concerts this year. Right now the girls are focusing on classical songs even one in French. As Christmas concert approaches, the choir is going to shift more towards Christmas music. However, it’s clear what event is the early favorite for this year: Pops Concert.
“It’s the most fun concert that we put on because there are fun songs, and dance moves, and costumes,” Manganaro said.
Between these two concerts, it will be interesting to see how the choir’s style has evolved from previous years.