For the past several years, Christy Case has brought her choir students from Benzie Central High School to perform here at Michigan Legacy Art Park for our Winter Sounds holiday concert. It is such a joy to see these young people perform at the park, and holiday spirits are always high.
One of Christy’s students was willing to share some of her own thoughts recently on what it’s like performing with the choir at the Art Park for this event.
Meet Hadley, Benzie Central Choir Member and Winter Sounds Performer
Hi there! My name is Hadley O’Connor. I’m a junior at Benzie Central and I have been in Chamber Choir for 3 years now. Along with being apart of chamber choir I am also involved in National Honors Society, varsity volleyball, track and field, interact club, and Student Council. Aside from music I enjoy writing, and running.
How did you get involved in the Chamber Choir? Did you have previous singing experience?I originally heard of chamber choir through my older sisters, who are former members. I grew up always attending the Christmas and pops concerts to support my sisters. I remember just being amazed at how elaborate, beautiful, and powerful the music sounded, and I instantly knew I wanted to join this choir. I have a musical family and have always been singing for as long as I can remember. It’s hard for me to say precisely when i started singing, but many of my early experiences were singing in church, which I still do periodically.
How does singing together in a group like this make you feel?
Music is a powerful expression of emotion that has been around since the beginning of time, and when you sing very old and classical pieces made by some of the greatest minds the world has ever known, it can make you feel eternal. The times change so often as we keep developing as a society but music, no matter how old or new, will never change. Music is a connection from now to years, decades, and centuries ago.
The blend and strength behind an ensemble, as you can imagine, is overwhelming and indescribable. Its different than singing a solo because with many voices you get different colors, sounds, and varieties all of which make the piece more interesting and contributes to lots of harmonies that really color the music. Also, singing in large groups enables you to sing different parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) at once.
What do you enjoy most about singing?
What I enjoy most about singing is that singing has made me a better person. It turns any day into a good one, and is something I look forward to everyday. It has made me more creative, and because of choir I now have the ability to read music. Choir also gives me the opportunity to express myself the way I love to do so, through signing. Also, through singing solos I have had the chance to put myself out there, and I have become a more extroverted and confident person which is helpful in every aspect of my life. An important example of that is when we are learning a piece of music you have to sing out even if you are unsure because singing a wrong note loudly will give us the opportunity to fix it until its right. That lesson can be interpreted as not being afraid to make mistakes, because mistake are how you learn and how you make yourself better.
Singing has made me a better person. It turns any day into a good one, and is something I look forward to everyday.
What is your favorite part of Chamber Choir?
I do not believe there is just one specific part of chamber choir that I love more than any others, but a few things stick out to me: I feel that singing with people makes you feel more connected to them. Our choir is very close, and I enjoy being with my peers. Also, I love participating in all the small performances we have throughout my community, such as winter in the parks.
What have you learned about yourself as a result of participating in this group?
I believe music gives people an opportunity to be more connected with themselves and those around them. Music is the only language that is spoken in every country. Music is common ground where many diverse people meet with their talent as their similarity. As mentioned above music has taught me how to be more confident in and out of chamber choir. Also, throughout the concerts I have participated in I have learned how to be professional, prepared, and how to correct myself if I made an error.
What do you love about the holiday season?
There are many things I love about the holiday season! Christmas music of course being one. The holidays give people a chance to be with their loved ones, and to be giving.
What do you love about performing at Winter Sounds?
Performing at Winter sounds really expresses the holiday spirit in a way that makes me very excited about Christmas. It is beautiful venue to sing at, and it spreads joy to those who attend. Also, I love to get out in my community and perform.
How does your group prepare for a concert like this? How is it different than other performances?
A lot of work goes into learning new music, our winter concert is one of the biggest performances we will do all year. It takes lots of time and individual attention to perfect the pieces before they are concert ready.
What advice would you give to another teen considering joining a choral group at school?
I always like to encourage people to participate in a choir if its something they are interested in. Choir has changed my life in so many ways, and I’m so thankful that I joined it. It gives you so many experiences and opportunities that other electives just can’t give you. It opens many doors and improves many aspects of your life. If you’re unsure about joining then just give it one chance, because its not something you want to miss out on.
Why should someone attend Winter Sounds?
With Christmas coming up, and all the holiday jitters, Winter Sounds would be an opportunity to get outside in the community and enjoy intriguing, beautiful music in gorgeous northern Michigan.
Not to mention it would mean a lot to the members of Chamber Choir, we work very hard on these pieces, and it means a lot to have people come and enjoy them.
Support Local Teen Music Programs
Don’t miss Winter Sounds holiday concert featuring the Benzie Central Chamber Choir.