Baylie Tharman | staff writer
Students who are unable to take choir class have found another way to let their voices be heard.
Music teacher Jamie Rogers started “The Underground Choir” last year and hopes to have more success with it this year.
Rogers has eight students who are in the choir class and five students who are in the underground choir. He started the underground choir for students that couldn’t fit choir in their main schedule. “I knew there were students who weren’t able to enroll in choir class, and I like to have as many singers as we can. So I tried to make an opportunity for more people to come in and sing in performances and contests.”
Senior Lanson Parry is one of the five students involved in underground choir. He’s been singing since he was in preschool, and he sings at his church. Parry plans to go to Washburn and study forensic investigation but also hopes to sing in college. “I hope to keep singing and hopefully go on and do choir in college but if not I hope to help future generations of my family to find love in singing,” Parry said.
Parry was unable to enroll in the first-hour choir class because of college English. “I was in a choir class my first three years of high school but I couldn’t this year because of class placements. So I joined it to keep doing the thing I love and to sing with my friends in the choir class,” he said.
Since there are many parts to a choir, Rogers has had to find time to practice with each part. “I normally practice with tenors and bases on Wednesday and sopranos and altos on Thursday. We tried practicing all the parts and there just wasn’t enough time.”
Even though all of the singers don’t practice together they will all perform at concerts and contests together. “We’re prepping them so they will be able to sing the same songs as the regular choir. This will allow us to have a bigger choir in concerts, and contest.”
Rogers said the arrangement isn’t his first choice. “Underground choir is far from ideal. I hope that we can remove scheduling conflicts so we can eliminate the need,” he said.
Rogers said that the importance of music class is worth the extra effort. “In the last 20 years there’s been tons of studies of how being in music stimulates different parts of the brain. It’s like a weights class for the brain. You’re reading, doing science, math and a physical activity all at the same time. Brain studies have shown being in a music class helps students improve in reading, math, and science.”
The underground choir has improved the choir class in many ways. “It definitely improves because there’s more people. It’s more voices which allows the people who are enrolled in choir to sing with more confidence in performances because there’s more people,” Rogers said.
Choir has two more concerts, and league at Rock Creek March 7. Even though the group doesn’t have many performances left, Rogers is still willing to take new members.
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