Tri-City United choir students have prepared their vocals for several occasions since they returned from winter break. And after their most recent concert Thursday, there’s still more to come before summer vacation.
Earlier in the semester, the TCU High School choir earned strong ratings at the Minnesota High School League’s Large Group Contest. TCU choir director Tyler Frankhouse said the group earned a superior rating from each of the three judges at the competition.
“They’ve really done an incredible job,” said Frankhouse. “They took a piece and made it work. For singers, it’s a really internal process.”
The TCU High School and TCU Montgomery Middle School choirs and bands joined together in mid-March for their annual spring concert. The choir performed the same selections from that concert a second time Thursday in the TCU School District choir concert, which also included selections from TCU Le Center students. Even though the group knew the pieces really well, Frankhouse recognizes it’s not necessarily easier to sing the same songs.
“Mentally, it’s really challenging because you’ve already put [the songs] away, and it’s hard to go back to it,” said Frankhouse.
However difficult, Frankhouse believes the choirs dealt well with the repetition.
“We get a lot of work done in rehearsal,” said Frankhouse. “They’re a really great group of kids to work with.”
Three of the songs Frankhouse selected for the spring concerts are Disney pieces, but no theme was intended.
“That music just works really well for younger kids because they already know the songs,” said Frankhouse.
The TCU Montgomery seventh-graders sang the fun piece “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s “Moana,” eighth-graders sang “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas,” and the high school choir sang “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid.”
“’Part of Your World is a little higher for the basses, so it’s a little harder than the others,” said freshman Collin Barnett, who sings bass.
Apart from Disney selections, the TCU Montgomery eighth grade choir also performed an enrichment of “This Little Light of Mine.” The TCU High School choir took on challenging selections like “Jubilate Alleluia,” “Wade in the Water,” and “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal.”
“’Wade in the Water’ has a different style with a lot of chords that are tricky,” said Anya Menk, a senior who sings between tenor and soprano.
Menk said “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” is a cappella and lower than average for soprano twos.
With these songs behind them, vocalists are now preparing for the Pops Concert May 18.
“A bunch of choirs, soloists and groups come together, and soloists practice outside of class,” said Rianna Doyle, a junior who sings soprano.
Doyle said she’s practicing a solo and also preparing a piano duet with another student, Grace Grant. The song they’re preparing is “Evening Prayer” from “Hansel and Gretel.”
Frankhouse said the Pops Concert is the choir’s one ticketed event during the school year. The event is a two-hour cabaret style show and formal concert that includes dinner and a dessert intermission.