Family comes in many forms, sometimes consisting of different people from different backgrounds. In La Porte there is one family, though, that relies on one another constantly - the La Porte High School Advanced Choirs are a family that is unbreakable.
The LPHS Treble Chorale and Mixed Chorale are the choirs' advanced groups of singers. Treble Chorale is the advanced choir that consists of just female voices. The Mixed Chorale is the top choir and consists of male and female voices.
On August 15th, the advanced choirs of LPHS took a trip to Red Mill County Park to bond with one another and to understand how new and old voices mix to create one voice. The day started at 7:30 A.M when the bus left the school and went until 10:00 P.M. The day consisted of choir bonding and welcoming in the new kids that moved up into these advanced choirs from beginning choirs.
Activities included kickball, “ring toss,” wop-it, and a trust walk through the woods and all the games had a meaning behind them. For the trust walk through the woods, it was to show how the students in choir always have someone to fall back on and trust whenever they need to.
In addition to the games, of course, the choir students were able to sing with each other. Three vocalists came to the retreat so the students could get new feedback and new ideas from new people. The Mixed Chorale worked on the Mozart piece 'Ave Verum Corpus,' a piece about the crucifixion of Christ. The Treble Chorale worked on the piece 'Antiphonal Sanctus', by Christi Carry Miller, a song about the Holy Father.
The retreat has been going on for five years now, and every year it gets a little better. New faces come to be accepted and find their place among the family.
For senior Vanessa Evans, a Mixed Chorale member has learned “how to be patient and to work hard for something you want to achieve.”
For Vanessa, this is her third retreat, and she has taken a lot from being in the choir family for that long. She has grown stronger as a musician and as a person, taking away lessons Tom Coe, the director who has been teaching the choir year after year.
Near the end, the Mixed and Treble Chorales separated in order to do something that very personal and unique to each choir. All the students sat around in a circle and a ball of yarn was passed to random people. Once someone got the ball of yarn they had to say a personal goal or a goal for the whole choir. They then held onto their end of the string and passed it to someone else. The ending image was a web of orange string that connected everybody together. The idea is both the personal and choir goals affect everybody, and if one person gives up on their goal, the people connected to the string will give up on theirs.
Geovanny Tapia, a sophomore and a Mixed Chorale new comer, took a piece of the retreat with him. “The retreat really showed the camaraderie among everybody, and showed that we are all a family,” he said. “It was a good time with a lot of a lot of good people.”
The students' dreams and goals - and how they were all connected - showed how much of a family the choir can be. They all share the commonality of loving what they want do, and having the drive to work for what they want.
Director Coe is very proud of the group of students he gets to work with this year.
“My personal goal is for everybody to be the best they could possibly,” Coe said. “That’s what I want and that’s what I want you to want. Getting to state does not matter, it’s the effort and work we put into getting there that counts.”
Getting to State Finals has always been a dream of the LPHS Advanced Choirs. The dream is in the students - to strive to be the best and brightest they can be, not just as musicians but as people.
The LPHS Advanced Choirs are thriving this year, that have already begun to prove themselves as family members. Being the best they can possibly be is a goal that has started triumphantly, a beginning that will positively influence the choir for the year to come.