The 2013-14 Choir Year

Andrew Dodderidge, Writer

The Shawnee Mission West choral department has been very successful in the past few years. Groups and individuals have been receiving great scores at state competitions. “The program has so much pride, dedication, determination, and excellence, that year after year, I am always amazed at the high expectations that develop throughout the group of students,” said choir director, Laura Vanleeuwen.

There are five different choral groups in the school: Chorale, Madrigals, two girl’s choirs and a men’s choir. There are a great amount of students enrolled in these five groups. Last year, groups and individuals had outstanding scores at state performances. “West Choir had a wonderful 2012-2013 with the culmination of straight 1’s at the Spring Music Festivals,” exclaimed Vanleeuwen.

There are three choral concerts located in the Shawnee Mission West auditorium this year. There is a fall concert on Oct. 10, a winter concert on Dec. 10, and the Masterworks concert on Feb. 19. All the choirs perform in these three concerts. There are also concerts located in different areas. The madrigals and chorale perform at the West Area Choral Festival in the SM West gymnasium on Oct. 29, the SMSD Choral Festival on Mar. 11 at SM South, and all choirs perform at the State Large Ensemble on April 16. The location for the state competition is yet to be determined.

When asked about how she would describe her students, Ms. Vanleeuwen said, “Smart. Determined. Competitive. Fun. Caring.”

There is a choir event late in the year called Spotlight, where it is basically a talent show of all the choir students. “Spotlight is our two-night spring production held in May,” said Vanleeuwen. “It is like a musical in that there are solos, dance numbers, duets, group numbers, etc. It is the one choir event where we charge admission for both evenings”. This year’s Spotlight is on May 8-9, 2014.

Choir auditions for next year are on Mar. 12-13 in the choir room if people are interested.