Sahuaro’s Choir Department Finishing on a High Note


Kasia Jackson, Editor

Sahuaro’s choir department performed on Wednesday May 11th in the Egbert Auditorium. This was their last concert of the year and they ended it with a bang. This was my first time attending a choir concert at Sahuaro and I was amazed. It definitely makes me have high expectations for any future choir concerts I attend.

Songs performed: Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast, Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid sung by Mixed Choir, Under April Sun and Spirit from The Lion King sung by the Choraliers, and Fruitcake sung by Sahuaro Singers. I Want It That Way and We Don’t Talk About Bruno were audience sing-alongs. Festival Sanctus and Joshua was sung by Concert Choir and Just Sing was sung by Combined Choirs.

The theme of the concert was “Let Me Hear You Sing” and that theme was taken seriously. There was a portion of the show where there was an audience sing-along: I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys and We Don’t Talk About Bruno from the movie Encanto. I Want It That Way was performed by the guys in the choir department and every time the verse ‘tell me why’ occurred, the girl choir members would appear from the backstage, passionately saying their line ‘tell me why.”  The We Don’t Talk About Bruno performance was both musical and theatrical. Members of the choir acted out the scene from the movie while singing confidently. Both performances were absolutely fantastic and so much fun to be a part of.

Surprisingly, it was the choir department’s first time having an audience sing-along. Ms. Barnes Sahuaro’s Choir Director says, “We were going to combine a pop concert with this concert and there wasn’t time to get everybody prepared for their pop song…like solos. There were a couple of songs that they really wanted to do and my thought was let’s play it! Let the audience sing along, y’all can lead it in a sing-along. So we chose the most popular one with the guys, which was I Want It That Way. Of course, we had to do We Don’t Talk About Bruno. Everbody is just singing it these days. So that was a lot of fun. The Just Sing song that we did as our finale was almost a sing-along as well. That was just a really cool song and it was to have all the choir sing that one.”

The song Under April Sun was actually rewritten by two girls in the Choraliers, freshman Ash Siefken and sophomore Aubrey Phull. They focused and worked hard, finishing the song in one day. The song was originally called Under Winter Moon, which they changed to Under April Sun. Ms. Barnes explains the process of how rewriting the song came about: “We really loved the music itself…the melody…the accompaniment. Beautiful, beautiful piece. We had to have a piece ready fast for a concert in April and our new pieces weren’t ready yet. We had a TUSD concert to go to in April and that was in between because we had just done our March concert and we weren’t quite ready for our May music. So we looked at all the music over the course of the whole year and they voted unanimously to redo Under Winter Moon, and I said why don’t we change the words.”

Ash Siefken explains the song writing process: “Most of the inspiration was just from us thinking about what is spring all about, how is the weather, the animals the plants all that.” There was a line they came up with that always made the laugh, whenever they practiced it, “pollen causing allergies making us sneeze.” She continues, “Aubrey was singing most of the lyrics and we kinda ran through a bunch of different words that could go with it, fitting with one word we were replacing… kinda like different vowels sounds that fit in that word for the other word.” She also expressed gratitude for Mia, a junior and another member of the Choraliers, helping them with one of the word choices. Aubrey Phull says, “We just went on a spring theme. We were trying to change winter lyrics to spring and we were looking at the flowers, and how the sun starts to be out for longer, making the temperatures raise.”

There was a portion of the concert, where seniors were honored and their soon departure from the department recognized. Members of the choir who went through a rigorous application process, were able to get the opportunity to achieve the Arizona State Seal of Fine Arts Proficiency. The members who were granted this achievement – which were some of the seniors – were given an honor cord that they can wear at their graduation. Recipients of this achievement: Lanie DuVall, Cat Blessing, Brigitta Petty, Josie Shivers, and Simone Davis.

Overall, it was an amazing night. Ms. Barnes is happy with the way her students performed and was glad that they had fun. She mentioned that performances don’t have to be perfect, they just need to try their best and more importantly, have fun. Every song choice truly expressed the talent in the department, and it was amazing to witness.

Shoutout to Ms. Barnes for putting together this performance and directing the students. Shoutout to the Choir Accompanist Mrs. Funckes for aiding the choir students with their amazing performance . Shoutout to all performers and to the seniors who achieved their Arizona State Seal of Fine Arts Proficiency. Shoutout to Ash, Aubrey, and Mia for rewriting a song. Shoutout to anyone who helped make this night so memorable. You all were great! Here are some pictures from the night: