We’re back’

Middle school, high school choirs to present concert

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Travis Balt directs his 7th grade choir at the Webster City Middle School Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by Shelly Bottorff. The group, along with an 8th grade choir and two choirs from the high school, will present a fall concert on Thursday, Oct. 21 at the high school auditorium.

Last year, there were very few in-person music performances anywhere and the Webster City Schools music programs were no different. The pandemic kept many ensembles from doing what they love to do most — make music.

“We just want to let people know we’re back,” said Middle School Music Instructor Travis Balt.

With the availability of the vaccine, even for youths as young as 12, it’s become easier for musical groups to present concerts.

“We still abide by the guidance from the district and the medical community, but it’s a lot different this year. We’re experiencing a kind of a return to normalcy,” he said.

To celebrate the return to music making, the middle school and high school choir programs will present a joint fall concert on Thursday. Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium at the high school.

Travis Balt

Balt said the 7th grade choir and the 8th grade choir will each have their own portion of the concert. High School Music Instructor Greta Nelson said her two choirs — the Lynx Singers, which is the non-audition group of 9th through 12th graders, and the Purple and Gold Singers, the auditioned choir, will each perform. The entire group — middle school and high school– will join together onstage to sing “Love is Love” at the end of the concert. Additionally, students who are trying out for the All-State Choir will also perform some selections.

Balt said the 7th graders are brand new to the choir experience.

“They may have done some singing in 5th grade but last year, when they were in 6th grade, we couldn’t have any concerts because of COVID,” he said. “After a year’s hiatus, they are doing their first choir concert. And they are excited and its fun for them to make some music again.”

The middle school held off until January before the now 8th grade students were able to have a concert, he added.

Balt said he was excited for the students to collaborate with their high school peers.

Greta Nelson

“The middle schoolers will have a chance to see what they could be doing in high school, and the high school students will be able to look back and see how far they’ve come since middle school,” he said.

Nelson agreed.

“I think it just shows the younger students that singing can continue on once they leave middle school. In high school they can keep singing and incorporate more,” she said. “I think they’ll see these high school singers having a pretty good time.

Gabby Subert, a 7th grader, said she was a little nervous about singing with the high school groups, just because the kids there have been performing a little longer.

Subert said she enjoys singing and particularly likes one of the pieces her choir will perform, “Fly Away Home.”

“I feel like it’s a very beautiful song,” she said. “And then “Love is Love” is what we’ll be singing with the high school.”

The Lynx Singers will perform Life Keeps Movin and a Gospel tune titled Get On Board. The Purple and Gold singers will perform a piece by Clara Schumann in German, and also a piece called Earth Song. She said the high school choirs will combine to sing a number together, called Thixo, and Onothando, which is written in a South African language that features a click.

“So they will be incorporating a click into their singing,” Nelson said.

She added that the groups are truly enjoying the challenging music.

“I think its going to be a fun concert,” she said.


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