Choir students aim to increase program numbers


Jillian Creamer (12), Joy Perry-Grice (11), Emma Siebert (’22) and Opal Schlessman (11) sing at the UNC Jazz Fest in May 2022. Choir students are trying to increase participation in the choir program for the next school year. (Photo courtesy of Woody Myers)

Alexia Rah, Reporter

Choir students and staff this year looked for ways to promote Windsor High School choirs in order to increase numbers in the program. It can be daunting to join a new program, especially without experience, but the WHS choir program tackled this obstacle with creative outreaches this semester.

Choir director Amy Murphy has been involved in the school’s program since 2020 and brought out the potential in her students.

“One of our biggest goals here in this program is to make everybody feel welcomed and important. And no matter where you are on your journey, your musical journey, everyone is there rooting for you and lifting you up. It’s a team. It’s a choice,” Murphy said.

Social media is one way that the choir promoted itself this school year. The Instagram profile shows students singing and stories include the latest events that members of the program are involved in.

Concert choir student Jenna Gelvin (12) believes that enough promotion in not just the school but also around the community would benefit choir participation greatly.

Gelvin said, “I’m in concert choir. And I love it, specifically, because like every quarter, we are pushing ourselves through harder and harder pieces, learning new things, constantly. And Mrs. Murphy is constantly teaching us new ways to improve ourselves.”

WHS students perform on stage during the UNC Jazz Festival in May 2022. Many of these students are still in the program and hoping to increase choir numbers for next year. (Photo courtesy of Woody Myers)

Murphy also has had students in class talk about their own personal experiences during the concert and how they would improve. The class is based around welcoming each member into the program while learning something new.

“I think choir is a really great experience. You get to meet and sing with people who are really cool, and it’s a really vulnerable environment where you can really share out your feelings,” concert choir’s Daniel Wicker (10) said.

Murphy’s select choirs are women’s, men’s, treble, concert and Wizardry. Each choir has a different level of skill needed. Murphy claims that no student needs prerequisites or previous knowledge of music; she is there to help students reach theirs goals.

Another way Murphy has involved her students in promoting the choirs is to nominate their peers. The students are given a form in which students can suggest another student who they think would fit in the choirs. It is highly recommended that each student nominated works hard and is kind.

Each choir is different in its own skill range, voice balance and capability of comprehending each other along with musical pieces. Women’s and men’s choir are introductory level, needing no previous experience. Treble choir is one of the three choirs that need an audition to try out. The concert and Wizardry choirs are more advanced in understanding the material. The two are mixed, meaning they have all genders with different sections to fit their range.

No matter the level of musical knowledge and experience, any student who is wanting to learn is welcome. The choir department grows stronger with each student.