Hello, friends of the Kimberly Choirs!
Our Spring Choir Concert -- Then Sings My Soul -- is on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00 pm in the Kimberly High School Auditorium. It would mean a lot to all of us if you would attend! We have put in lots of time learning and memorizing our music and for 29 of us, this is our last high school choir concert.
As a high school senior, this last concert means just a little bit more to me than our other concerts. There are so many emotions that all of the seniors are feeling at this time of the year and it seems that all of those emotions are captured in the songs you will hear in this final concert of the school year. Some songs may make you laugh. Some songs may make you cry. And hopefully, there will be one or two songs that do a little bit of both!
As this concert approaches, I've tried not to think about it too much. As a freshman, I always looked forward to that moment where I get to walk across the stage and hand a flower to my mother as they announce my name and my intentions for the future. Now I just want to avoid that moment. I don't want this to end. Many of us are going to be in tears as we sing our final songs. In my opinion, this concert is going to be more emotional than graduation for most of us.
I look back on these four years of choir and think about how my Kimberly Choir experience has not only helped me to grow as a singer, but also as a person. I’ve learned not to procrastinate. I’ve learned about good work ethic. I’ve learned about what it means to be a leader and a teammate. Maybe most importantly, though, I’ve learned what I want to do for the rest of my life: I’ve decided that I’m going to UW-Oshkosh next year to study music education. I've learned that I want to do this -- choir -- for the rest of my life. The simple thought of that makes me smile.
Our concert theme -- Then Sings My Soul -- signifies a both a departure and a new beginning. We're singing tonight to honor everything that has formed and shaped us during these past four years; we're creating our own song -- something that is deep within ourselves. And then we're going forth into new adventures, some of which will make us laugh, cry, or both.
As seniors, we hope that we have left a positive lasting impression on our directors and our fellow choir members. We remember and honor the songs that we have song, the choir experiences we have had, the friends that we have made while in choir, and those choir students that will come after us. We hope that they remember us fondly. Something I really wanted to do this year was connect with underclassmen. I wanted to help them feel more comfortable in choirs and I sure hope that they want to continue in choir so that their four years of high school might be as meaningful as mine. I hope for at least some of the underclassmen, I’ve done that. I hope that I've left my mark here.
So... What does your soul sing? What is your song? We hope that you will join us for this concert and ask yourself those questions. When you're in the audience, please be present and enjoy the moment. Let the music do the talking, because like the past four years, this concert will go by far too quickly.
Thank you for your support of the Kimberly Choirs!
Greetings family and friends of Kimberly Choirs!
We are so thrilled to see/hear the excitement surrounding our 2018 District Choral Festival. We piloted this event last year and it was a huge success that showcased the amazing abilities and talents of our choir students at all grade levels!
The special thing about this concert is that it doesn't only feature the high school choirs. Sharing the stage with the intermediate school choirs and the middle school choirs is so much fun! The fact that we all get to come together and sing with our own choirs, and then come together at the end and sing perform the finale with each other is thrilling for all of us. Another awesome thing about this concert is that we’re all performing music that was written by currently living composers. The opportunity to perform at Lawrence Chapel gives us another exciting opportunity to perform in an incredible acoustic.
I won’t ramble on forever, and I’ll let the concert on Friday, February 9 speak for itself. Unfortunately, this concert is already sold out, but you can find the link to the livestream HERE. Hopefully, we’ll see you either at the Chapel, or on the livestream! Thanks for your support!
Hello family and friends of Kimberly Choir!
As the holiday season approaches, I would like to invite you to our Holiday Choir Concert, which will be on Monday, December 11 at 7:00 pm. While ugly sweaters and carols are all jolly and grand, there’s a little more to this concert. The theme for our holiday concert this year, is Sing We All Noel!
There’s quite a bit on our minds this time of year: shopping, baking, wrapping, and decorating! Our stress levels are high when we have a multitude of things to do before the holidays. But this season doesn’t have to be only about all of those things. There’s something special about shopping and preparing our homes and our hearts for this season. There’s something to be said about dragging a little bit of snow in the house after you’ve been outside and having to scrape your car windows every morning. It’s the feeling you get this time of year that you don’t really get any other time of the year. (Or any other state in the country, for that matter!) And at least for me, this is the only time of year I get to see my entire family.
I have two cousins in the military. I have an uncle who is a professional violinist. I have an uncle who works as a head chef 10-12 hour days almost every day. Both sets of grandparents live at least 4 hours away. I don’t get to see them very often, and I think that’s what makes the holidays so special for me -- this is the only time I get to see them each year. When we’re together, all problems are cast aside, and we get to focus on just being together. Eating food, giving gifts, telling stories, and then saying goodbye for one more year.
So, you’re probably asking yourself what in the world this has to do with a high school choir concert?! This time of year I get to sing a whole lot - and not just at this upcoming concert. Each year,the KHS Chamber Choir gets to go out and carol numerous times around the community, and there’s no better feeling than that! Singing is something that I really like to do, and this season gives me a big opportunity to do that! So, please take a break from your shopping, baking, wrapping, and decorating, and come to our Holiday Choir Concert. Let the music of the season help you to remember all this is important about this season. Take my word for it when I say it’s going to be great! I hope to see you there!
Hello, KHS students, parents, teachers, and alumni, and community members!
My name is Sean Lawrence, and I will be serving as the KHS Choir Council President for the 2017-18 school year. It’s always fun for us to start our season with our annual Fall Chor Concert. This concert will be held on Tuesday October 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the KHS auditorium. Our theme for this concert this year is Do You Hear The People Sing?
Ultimately, that is the question: Do you hear the people sing? That can mean whatever you want it to mean. If it means singing in the shower after a long day of work, then that’s what it means to you. If it means hearing protests on television, then that’s what it means to you. Maybe for you, it’s having everyone home for dinner at night. Sure there’s no physical singing, but what that means for you is your own song. Maybe it’s a song that you can’t get out of your head. Maybe something is telling you to wake up early and go on a run. Maybe something is telling you to stay in bed, and watch Netflix all day (but that could also just be the flu talking). Anyway, the point is that hearing people sing can mean so many things to so many different people. That’s part of what makes us all unique!
As I rehearsed the music for this concert, I tried to think about how each of our pieces relates to the theme of the concert. I don’t sing because I think it’s about the talent that we all have. Singing gives me an opportunity to portray a message or a story to someone else; to show all of you what we’re singing about. We, as performers, are trying to send a message. We wouldn’t have concert themes if that wasn’t the case. To sing for enjoyment is one thing, but to sing for yourself or someone else brings forth completely different expectations and emotions.
One of my favorite moments every year is the Friday of Homecoming Week. Not the game. Not the fireworks. Not the halftime show. The photo. Every year we go to the football field to rehearse for the National Anthem prior to the Homecoming game. But before we leave, we all congregate in the choir room. This year, that meant all 178 of us in one room. Then, Mr. Popke will stand up on something and take a picture of everyone in the room. Every year that picture gets bigger. Every year Mr. Popke will have to stand on something even taller in order to be able to take the picture. So each and every year, we have more and more people singing. Do you see them? Do you hear them? Whether you’re a freshman in your first year of choir, or the Vice President of Choir Council, you still have an equal share in our big choir family. And yes, that freshman in Chorale just might be the Vice President of Choir Council their senior year.
So, if you just want to hear some people sing, come to our fall concert. But I give fair warning, you may end up leaving with more than just that. I hope to see you at the concert! Thanks for your support!
Autumn Gomez-Tagle '17 | Choir Council President
Greetings parents, students, alumni, and community members!
As a member of the Class of 2017, I’m used to looking forward -- not back. At this time of year, my classmates and I are anticipating the major changes that will soon be upon us. Faced with so many changes, I’ve been taking the opportunity to look back on the last four years.
As I reflect on my life pre-adulthood, I realize that I don’t remember the minutia of my day to day high school experience. Instead, I remember the people and things who mattered to me, who lifted me up, who taught me how to be a good person; a stronger person.
When I was a freshman, Claire Powling -- that year’s Choir Council President -- noticed that I was blushing so hard I barely looked human and was noticeably anxious. She took me aside after a rehearsal and said “you don’t have to be nervous. We were all scared when we started, you have no reason to worry. You’re doing just fine”. That touched me deeply at the time, and I don’t think it’s something I’m ever going to forget. That’s the moment I felt at home here at KHS and in our choir program.
The thing I have learned most in the last four years is that home is so much more than a geographic location. Home is the place where you create your fondest memories. Home is the people who stood by you and helped you discover who you really are. Home is the late night rehearsal memories. It is your parents helping you study and it is the friends you make and lose. Home is the mistakes you make and the people who pick you up when you fall. Through our lives, we carry with us remnants of our youth; memories that have shaped us into the people we are today. Whatever it may mean to you, home is what makes us who we are.
And so, I hope that you will join us at our final concert of the year: Coming Home. The concert is this Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the KHS Auditorium. Admission is free. Thank you for your support of the Kimberly Choirs!
Autumn Gomez-Tagle '17 | Choir Council President
Hello parents, students, alumni, and community members! Welcome to 2017!
I am honored to invite you to join us on Tuesday, February 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Lawrence Chapel for the Kimberly Choral Festival, featuring choirs from in grades 5-12 from schools across our district. The theme of this concert is love!
Love is a difficult thing to write about. Not for nothing is every song on the radio about heartbreak or romance. Not for nothing are there sonnets and plays about lost love, found love, and every love in between. It’s hard to nail down a definition, one final description of what “Love” is; it’s a pretty abstract concept. Mr. Popke, in his infinite wisdom, knew this. So a few days ago in a rare break from hard work, he made us think about it.
What is love?
It is not just a question to be answered with “baby don’t hurt me”; this is a genuinely difficult concept. Nonetheless, we all took our best stab and wrote down an answer on a sticky note. We put them up on the board and read them aloud to each other, trying to come to a conclusion.
Love is special.
Love is selfless.
Love is open-armed.
Love means never having to be alone.
Love means getting to pay back what you’ve been given.
The answers flooded in; no two of them the same. I was touched at everyone’s varied definitions. There was no one answer that we had in common. What we did have in common, though, is a love of music.
Music is something different. It brings people together to willingly sing in front of a huge crowd of people. They practice and practice to audition for solos. They congratulate others when they are beaten for those same solos. Entire groups devote themselves to music above all else. After all, love is special.
Music is for everyone. We all have flaws. We all have struggles. But when we come together to sing or play that is what is important. In music, everyone has value, and everyone is welcome; after all, love is open-armed.
Choir is something unique. We help one another practice no matter if we already know it ourselves. We teach those younger than us the skills to succeed. We take pride in our successes as a team, because after all, love is selfless. Choir is a second home. People tell me that coming to choir is the best part of their day, and I absolutely understand why. We are all a team, inside the classroom and out. It’s like a giant trust fall; no matter what happens to one of us, the others will catch them. After all, love means never having to do it alone.
I have been playing music since I can remember, and I have spent four years giving everything I could to Kimberly Choirs. I have grown with the people I work with, and I have been given the privilege of some of the best mentors around. I am thankful above all else for the chance to give back what I have been given. After all, I love music. I love choir.
Our 2017 Kimberly School District Choir Festival is about just that; a common love of choir. We come together to honor each other, inspire those younger than us, and connect to those that came before us.
If music be the food of love, sing on!
Autumn Gomez-Tagle '17 | Choir Council President
Hello parents, students, alumni, and community members! Welcome to a new school year! My name is Autumn Gomez-Tagle and I am the 2016-17 KHS Choir Council President. As you may know, our Fall Choir Concert is coming up very quickly! I would like to invite you to join us on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the KHS Auditorium for our first concert of the year, Freedom Come!
In this time of politics, divisiveness, and 24-hour news cycles, it can be hard to find reasons to come together. With new headlines about the 2016 election popping up every week, it’s easy to lose sight of what's important. However, one of the most important reasons to come together is to share music with one another. The music in this concert helps to remind us what is truly important -- working for freedom, embracing our challenges, and celebrating our triumphs.
Mr. Popke said something in a recent rehearsal that resonated with me. He told us that this concert is about “who we are, where we have come from, and why we do what we do”. His words were a much-needed reminder of responsibility and pride. The notion of “why we do what we do” isn’t exclusive to politicians and heroes; it also applies to each one of us as citizens. The music in this concert personifies this idea.
Throughout this concert cycle, all of us have really delved into the texts of the music we are singing. I'm really proud of that. In a recent rehearsal Mr. Popke had all of us in Concert Choir step back from the technical aspects of the music and really focus on the emotions of the text. He turned the lights off and asked us to sing “Armistice 1918: Everyone Sang” to someone we know. In the darkness, we sang about the sudden joy and relief that comes at the end of a long battle, the reprieve from suffering, and how those ideas translate into our own lives. By taking a step back, we were able to put the lyrics in context and understand the feelings of a war that happened nearly one hundred years ago. We remembered that the American story doesn’t end on any one page of our textbooks; the next chapter is always being written -- by us.
On Tuesday night, we invite you take a break from politics and join us for our Fall Choir Concert. Not only will we sing about freedom, justice, and peace, but we will also honor those people who have helped to secure our own freedom and freedom for others around the world. We hope that you will come and celebrate freedom with us!
Meghan Stecker '16 | Choir Council President
In this, my final blog post of this year, I would like to start by saying that the Kimberly High School Music Department is one of, if not, the single greatest thing that has happened to me. This group of teachers and students is the most supportive and wonderful group I have had the pleasure to be a part of. I will be forever grateful for these people and I will always hold them in my heart. The relationships I have built through music have been the most positive aspects of my life for 6 years; they are also what make the next few weeks and months more challenging than I’d like them to be.
That brings me to the theme of our final concert of the year: Journey. Our lives are a crazy journey of finding who we are, figuring out what we are passionate about, finding people we love, dealing with pain and change, and learning from all of that to become better people. The graduating seniors are about to take the next step in this journey. We are simultaneously excited and terrified. We can only hope that everything we have done has prepared us for whatever comes next. We are all carefully planning exactly what we want our future to be like. But, something I’ve learned from Parks and Recreation, (which is my favorite, and arguably the best, television show ever) is that no one can be certain of the future. What we can be certain of are the people we care about and doing work worth doing. This lesson can be applied to every person at any point on life's journey.
In our upcoming concert, we will present a variety of songs that all connect to this theme of a journey. These songs depict pain, happiness, confusion, hope, love, and the many different shapes a journey can take. We ask you to join us on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:00 pm in the Kimberly High School Auditorium to share this music with us and honor all of our seniors. While this concert is typically pretty emotional for singers and audience members, I would like to take a moment to remind everyone that with today’s technology, the people we love are no more than a phone call away. There is no reason to lose connection with the people you love if you don’t want to. It is also important to remember that there are new people to love just waiting for us in the future; if you think about it, everyone you love now was, at one point, new to you. Don’t be so concerned about the people you miss that you forget to meet new people to love.
This journey we go on includes a lot of ups and downs. We cannot be certain of the future, so we just have to hold out hope that the positive aspects of this journey outweigh the negative or that the hard work we put in creates something meaningful. Each person has a different journey and each person has a different reason to go on this journey. For me, that reason is music. I am going to college so that I can share my passion with others and hopefully have the same impact on my students that my educators have had on me. What I hope for each and every single one of you is that you find that reason, and you hold onto it no matter what happens. We can never be certain of what the future holds, but we can be certain of why we are doing it and we can go through this journey, despite our uncertainty, constantly asking ourselves “What’s next?” We can learn from our mistakes, we can love as much as possible, and we can find what makes us happy. Hopefully, that will be enough.
Meghan Stecker '16 | Choir Council President
The theme of our March Concert is "Reflect" and as I've been getting closer to graduation, I've been doing a lot of reflecting! I look back at myself in fifth grade and I was an extroverted and sporty child (if you can believe it)! Even looking back to a year ago, I wasn't even close to becoming the person I am now; I imagine in five years, I'll look back to where I am now and think the same thing. That's the thing about people: they are constantly changing and figuring out who they are. You look back at every experience you've ever had and every choice you've ever made and regardless of whether you are grateful for that experience or if you regret it, it still shaped the person you are today. Even my participation in sports, something I have no interest in today, played a significant factor in shaping the person I have become.
After a large amount of reflection, I can say that the best choice I've ever made is being in choir and theatre here at KHS. It is so evident the people in the KHS Choirs and our KHS theatre productions care about and support each other. The music wing is also the place in the school in which I feel most comfortable being myself. I never feel like I have to change who I am in order to fit in, and during a time in your life when you can feel the most alienated, that is so important. Because of the incredible support system that choir, theatre, and yes, even band, have provided for me, I am able to feel confident in who I am and what I believe in. I also have the opportunity to do what I love -- music -- with the people I love every single day. I can't think of a better experience than that.
I invite you to our March Choir Concert on Monday, March 7 at 7:00 in the KHS auditorium to join us as we present songs that focus on reflection. We are excited to welcome the J.R. Gerritts Middle School 8th Grade Choir as they perform with us at this concert. Please take the time during this concert to think about the best experiences you have ever had. Reflect on what has happened in your life that has made you who you are, whether those things are positive or negative. Remember the choices you have made that have lead you here because while it is very important not to dwell on the past, it is important to use it to help us make decisions in the future.
Meghan Stecker '16 | Choir Council President
Hello and season’s greetings!
As we approach our upcoming Holiday Choir Concert, my fellow seniors and I have been preparing vigorously for our futures. Along with that, we have also realized that our days of high school are dwindling― as are our days in choir at Kimberly High School. It’s amazing to me that something I’ve been doing for so long is almost over. Although I am excitedly anticipating my future, I know I am also really going to miss my friends in choir and performing such beautiful music with them at the level we do.
This anecdotal story does have a point; especially during the holiday season, we need to appreciate the great things while we are experiencing them and we need to realize the important people in our lives. In our society today, there is a focus on possessions and achievement, making it especially important to direct our thoughts toward the truly important things― friends and family. If you get anything from this post, get that. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you and spend time with them if you can.
Because our concert is earlier than usual this year and our repertoire is particularly challenging, we have been working strenuously to prepare a great concert for you. Concert Choir will be performing three contrasting pieces: “Wassail Song”― a complicated arrangement of an English carol, “Lux Aurumque”― a piece that depicts the light of the birth of Christ, and “The First Noel”― a beautiful interpretation of the familiar Christmas carol. Though these pieces contrast greatly, they share similarities in that they are incredibly difficult, but equally beautiful. In fact, each choir on the program has worked extremely hard to prepare an absolutely magnificent concert.
I am so proud to be a part of the Kimberly Choirs and I hope that you all will come to the KHS auditorium on December 7 at 7:00 pm so we can share our music with you!