Students victorious in choir competition

Hope Angelica

The Park High School Chamber choir, directed by Nancy Curtis, performed Friday, April 21 at the District Music Festival in Bozeman. The choir received two Superior (I) ratings in prepared performance, and a perfect score in sight singing.

Clayton Oberquell was the piano accompanist with Daniel Chausse on French Horn.

Judges watched the choir, soloists and students in ensemble perform.

“It wasn’t that bad because the judges are there to help you make your piece better and give you new techniques,” said Kate Helin–Burnette, a Park High School senior who won all superior ratings. “The best part was getting a new technique from my solo judge.”

Similarly, Nick Feldtman, a Park High School junior who also won all superior ratings, said “I’m always nervous. But I believe butterflies are good. The judges never have bothered me. It’s mostly the other people in the room that scare me. Like I said, butterflies aren’t a bad thing and sometimes those nerves are what you need to do an awesome job, both mentally and physically. Sometimes nerves add vibrato and sometimes, although contradictory, it’s what gives me confidence.”

Singing alone differs to singing with four people or a choir of 36, according to the two choir students.

“You have to adjust both your singing techniques and your mindset when singing solos or duets verses a choir. You have to pay attention to all those around you in choir and change your tone and volume to match theirs exactly, while in solo or ensemble work, you’re way more in control of what happens in the piece,” said Burnette.

“Singing by myself leaves room for the individual. As a choir, some of the most important things are blend and tone of the choir as a whole. By myself, I get to show the judges who I am. I lay everything out on the table, only to be judged by someone who might be opinionated towards a deeper, richer sound -something I don’t particularly have. It takes a lot of confidence,” said Feldtman.

“I made sure I was confident in my music. Nerves are good and can’t really be calmed. But, you can trick your mind into transforming them into excited energy,” Burnette explained.

Feldtman added, “you learn a lot from the judges and in the end the score is just a score. You can choose how much it affects your confidence. In order to be successful and receive some sort of gain from this experience, you need to be open to opinions and you need to be confident in yourself.”

Several students participated in solos and ensembles on Thursday, April 20 and Saturday, April 22 in Helena and received the following ratings:

Piano Solos
Tessa Coddington (I) Superior
Isabel Sexton (II) Excellent

Vocal Solos:
Sean DePaso (I) Superior
Nick Feldtman (I) Superior
Brooklyn Fitzgerald (I) Superior
Kate Helin – Burnette (I) Superior
Beth Hewey (I) Superior
Clara Jones (I) Superior
Cara Marsh (I) Superior
Ellie Mickelson (I) Superior
Kirk Mills (I) Superior
Isabel Sexton (II) Excellent
Denise Benden (II) Excellent

Vocal Duets
Cara Marsh and Ellie Mickelson (I) Superior
Nick Feldtman and Kate Helin – Burnette (I) Superior
Clara Jones and Eden Jones – (II) Excellent

Vocal Quartets
Cameron Reichert, Nick Feldtman, Brooklyn Fitzgerald, Kate Helin – Burnette – (I) Superior
Kirk Mills, Sean DePaso, Ellie Mickelson, Denise Benden – (II) Excellent