As of late, Old Mill Vocal Ensemble (our audition only honors chorus group) seem to have been dropping in their reviews, of themselves.
“The groups seem a bit more distant,” says junior James Murray. “There’s not a strong connection between us. [We] sound great, but the attitude isn’t the same.”
Of the five Vocal Ensemble alumni that were interviewed, two were “undecided” and the other was “looking for another semester long class to take instead.” How did they go from ones (a perfect score) at County Festival and the closest family in school, to this great, yet unconnected sound?
One alumnus, Anastasiya Pelovitz, says this change is a result of, “Having seniors leave and leadership has changed so everyone’s attitude has shifted.”
Every year, the Vocal Ensemble alumni help out with the auditions of the potential members for the next year. During auditions, alumni are dispersed throughout the potential members to listen for intonation, blending and confidence. Then they do rhythmic and melodic music reading exercises and then a solo piece. Each vocal part has one leader (usually a senior) that is in charge of taking in the input from the other alumni, rating and reviewing them and picking out whomever they deem to be the best. Then the audition rubrics are handed over to Ms. Adams for the final verdict.
An alumnus of Vocal Ensemble, whom has asked to remain anonymous, felt that a lot of these changes brought out “a lot of negativity,” and hints at a flawed audition system. The anonymous member also stated that, “instead of picking choir members, I think we picked too many soloists.”
This group of kids who are all really passionate about the same thing are all teenagers and sometimes, teens just don’t click. They may have the same passion, but it takes more than that to keep a group together.
Maybe this will set an example for future years that team building is a pertinent part of any family, yet sometimes, team building simply isn’t enough.