Middle School Chorus Spring Highlights
In addition to their concert appearances on both the Bartram and San Jose campuses, Bolles middle school singers were involved in numerous musical activities throughout the second semester!
The Ninth Annual First Coast Honors Choir Festival was held in late February with 150 of Jacksonville’s most talented singers in grades 4-6 participating. Fourteen members of the Bartram Campus Chorus were among those selected to sing under the direction of nationally-known composer Jim Papoulis
in a program of his music. Published by Boosey & Hawkes, Papoulis has received numerous awards and recognitions in the field of choral music.
Sixth Grade Chorus members Edie Bates
, Sarah Brock
, Catee deRoziere
, Lilly Edwards
, Brittany George
, Chris Hanna
, Hannah Lee
, Roxanne Lette
, Sage Lucas
, Summer Schreiner
, Amelia Still
, Dragon Theam
, Connor Warmuth
, and Leeann Watson
were chosen to participate in the Honors Choir for their strong musical aptitude, love of singing, and cooperative spirit. Chorus Director Rachel Clifton
coached the students in preparation for the festival.
Intermediate Chorus member Lillie Brody
had the thrill of performing in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra production of La Boheme
, a fully staged opera in four acts presented in the Moran Theater. Maestro Fabio Mechetti
conducted Puccini’s heartbreaking masterpiece which featured award winning sets from the New York City Opera. Brody sang in the original Italian as part of a group of children besieging the toy vendor Papignol outside the Paris Cafe Momus in Act II. The acclaimed JSO production featured international opera stars Inna Dukach
and Dinyar Vania
In March, the Bartram Campus Choruses enjoyed master classes and presented a convocation performance with Irish singer/songwriter Brendan Nolan
. He has headlined concerts at numerous acoustic venues across Ireland, the U.S. and Canada, including performances at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. One of the highlights of Nolan’s convocation appearance was the song “Irish Blessing” which featured a solo by eighth grader Isy Milne
. The performance received a standing ovation from the middle school student body!
In May, 36 members of the Middle School Chorus participated in a “Disney Sings!” workshop at the Saratoga Springs Resort of Walt Disney World. The workshop immersed the group into the world of the professional vocalist. Students learned audition skills along with warm-up and voice-over techniques as they experienced a fast-paced recording environment. Led by professional Disney vocalist Dirk Donahue
, the Middle School Chorus recorded an excerpt from the Disney film The Lion King
. Then, students experienced the demands and exhilaration of live performance as they quickly prepared music and choreography for a simulated Disney show. At the conclusion of the workshop, the singers spent the remainder of the day in the Magic Kingdom. Donahue stated that he was very impressed by the talent, focus and enthusiasm of the Bolles singers. Clifton plans on taking the Chorus to the “Broadway Magic” workshop in the coming academic year.