Anita Cooper is the director of both Chorale and Hurricane Singers at ARHS.
According to Ms. Cooper
, the pieces she
brings to the MICCA Festival are "heavy duty," because in addition to excluding pop and musical theater, in many cases they are in foreign languages.
Though Ms. Cooper
considers the MICCA Festival when she
plans pieces for Chorale and Hurricane Singers
to complete, it is not in the forefront of her
mind, as the music groups also frequently give concerts.
However, the competition is an exhilarating-and sometimes nerve-wracking-addition to the ARHS singing experience.
Zoë Langsdale,'13, is president of Chorale
"The scariest part [of competing at the MICCA Festival] is walking on," she
said, "but for the most part, it's really exciting."
is less nervous before competition because she
is so busy, and because she
has already done all that she
can to prepare the singers.
"If we can't go into competition feeling confident, I've failed at my job," said Ms. Cooper
This year both Chorale and Hurricane Singers
were confident and prepared.
Despite a past rivalry between Chorale and Hurricane Singers
, the groups were invaluable to each other at this year's Festival.
According to Ms. Cooper
"feeds off the crowd," so the MICCA format with silent judges and little audience reinforcement can be difficult.
At the most recent MICCA Festival, however, Chorale and Hurricane Singers
provided mutual encouragement.
"Having them there to cheer each other on helped," said Ms. Cooper
Because of their superior ratings, both Chorale and Hurricane Singers
were invited to perform at Symphony Hall, which, according to Ms. Cooper
, is "the Carnegie Hall of Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, the groups are unavailable to go this year.
Still, being invited is a great honor and shows that with Ms. Cooper's
assistance, their talent and hard work and paid off.
effective teaching style facilitates the Chorale's
and Hurricane Singers' success.
Though the groups have plenty of fun joking around, according to Langsdale, "if she
says 'focus,' we focus.
Indeed, the ambiance in the music hallway is playful, yet when a group starts singing, their talent and concentration is evident.
and Langsdale agreed on three adjectives to sum up the choral singing experience at ARHS: "manic, fun, and focused.
Proven by the flood of students who join Chorale and Hurricane Singers
and their recent successes, Ms. Cooper
has maintained the perfect balance of fun and focus, with a hint of inevitable mania.