Girls’ Chorus: New singers, more songs, no boys

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Girls’ Chorus: New singers, more songs, no boys

Renne Bainvoll

Renne Bainvoll

Renne Bainvoll

Shalhevet's new Girls' Chorus made its debut this spring at the Kennedy Convalescent Center. Members say that with no boys in the group, they get more work done, but the jokes aren't as funny.

Leona Fallas, Senior Staff Writer

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Ever since choir president Ariella Benji announced at Town Hall that the energetic singing group was in grave danger of being cancelled unless drastic measures were taken, every performance leaves the students thinking, “Wait, I thought this was cancelled.”

On the contrary, there are now two choirs thriving at Shalhevet. The first, the regular choir, was saved through recommitment and a resolution of scheduling conflicts. However, a separate Girls’ Chorus has been created, which includes the entire wave of 16 girls who tried out.

Most schools have more female choir participation, but it usually isn’t an issue because the boys’ stronger voices balance out the sound. This year, however, Shalhevet had more girls and fewer boys attending rehearsals than ever before, leaving the choir unbalanced.

No one really knows why, but there are theories.

“Some boys don’t think choir is a very ‘male’ thing to do,” says choir director Mrs. Joelle Keene.

But enough girls showed interest to maintain a functioning singing group on their own, which was helpful when the boys’ numbers dwindled between their Chanukah concert and second semester. Drama, two debate trips, and the new tennis team drew them away, reducing their numbers from nine first semester to just three in March and April.

Most of the boys re-joined in May, and the mixed choir was revived. But in the meantime, Shalhevet’s first-ever Girls Chorus was formed.

Without the boys, the female choir is a model of efficiency. In fact, they have learned a total of 4 completely new songs while the mixed choir has learned none.

“Since we are not constantly re-teaching the boys their parts, because they missed and didn’t learn it, we have more time to learn more songs,” says junior and soprano Ariella Joffe.

While the all-girl rehearsals run more smoothly, the boys’ humor is often missed.

“The guys tend to lighten up the mood in rehearsal and they make Mrs. Keene laugh,” said Ariella. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the girls don’t make her laugh, but the guys’ jokes are better.”

Freshman alto Maya Ben-Shushan agrees.

“The guys are not only fun, but they keep us all in balance and we sound better,” Maya says. “Personally, I missed them a lot and I’m happy they came back.”

So far, the girls have performed a rendition of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” at the Purim Talent Show and sung at a nursing home, the Kennedy Convalescent Home on North Fairfax Avenue. The coed choir still sings at Town Hall on Thursdays and will perform “Hallelujah” from Shrek at Graduation.

And in case you were wondering how the regular choir was saved, it was a combination of Mrs. Keene’s persuasion and the resolution of a misunderstanding.

Several of the boys needed to be convinced to come to rehearsal during baseball season or around AP testing. However, the major fear was that because of people’s scheduling conflicts, there wouldn’t be enough days to rehearse with the entire choir for a spring concert.

“We had a meeting, and we realized that it wasn’t true and that we were all still committed and interested in continuing choir until the end of the year,” says Ariella Joffe.

The concert was held Thursday, June 2, at 6 p.m. in the Bet Midrash.  Both the mixed choir and the Girls Chorus performed, along with two piano soloists, junior Adam Sharabi and freshman Eliya Cogan.

 

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