Voices return to the stage


Aliza Abidi

Coppell High School Choir sings “Gloria” by Franz Joseph Hayden and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by Peter C. Lutkin as a finale at the Coppell Choir Fall Concert on Tuesday in the CHS Auditorium. It was the first in-person concert since the Winter Concert in December 2019. Photo by Aliza Abidi

Minnie Gazawada, Staff Writer/Designer

It had been 18 months since Coppell High School choir students shared the same stage. On Tuesday, this came to an end as the CHS auditorium was filled with people watching the choir perform at the fall 2021 concert. 

“Choir is about creating music with people at the same time in a shared space,” CHS choir associate director Aaron Coronado said

December 2019 was the last time the Coppell Choir had an in-person performance in front of a live audience; after multiple virtual concerts, the fall concert brought the choir as one with its audience.

Many were excited for in-person performances to resume, both the audience and performers. 

“There’s something about physically seeing people perform which is different through the screen, it’s more personal and it’s more relatable because they’re in the space with us, they’re cheering them on,” head choir director Bona Coogel said. “It seemed like they were really happy and excited to see our singers and they were just clapping every time a song was done.”

As juniors from the previous year now become seniors, having returned to the stage brings joy to their last year. 

“It was very different because the entirety of last year we spent it virtual and we didn’t really get to have group practices,” senior a cappella Mirnmayee Jana said. “So being back in school and having these group practices was really nice and a good experience.”

Parents, teachers, students, friends and families filled the CHS Auditorium. 

“Fall concert is always a preparation concert. We’re getting our singers together,” Coronado said.

Each concert is unique.

“The beauty of performance is that you can never you can never do it exactly the same multiple times right, so the fall concerts from previous years have different singers, different ensembles,” Coogle said. “Every year [there are] different people and we’re adopting the singers around us.” 

The songs selected are specific to one performance. One piece featured in this year’s fall concert is “Wellerman” by Arr. Roger Emerson.

“[It’s] a combined piece and we haven’t done that in the last few years. Having all the guys on stage was really thrilling,” Coronado said. 

The New Zealand song is based on a whaling station, Weller Bros., and encompasses the story of whalers singing as they slaughtered whales. 

The fall concert’s song selection showcased the vocal talents of the singers. 

“We choose the repertoire to ensure they are getting specific vocal fundamentals out of it, so it’s not just to learn the notes and sing, but learning vocal techniques through the song,” Coogle said. 

Pieces featured in the performance such as “Goodnight, My Love” and “The Night Shall Be Filled with Music” by Laura Farrell were low tempo pieces to work on adjustment and blending.

Although it was the choir’s first performance from virtual recordings, singers seamlessly returned to their work flow. 

“It was kinda like getting back on the bike again right after riding for a long time,” Coronado said. “Definitely comes back quick but there was a little bit of we gotta reviewer gotta kinda revisit how we create tone, how do we sing well, how do we create ensemble sound, how do we sight read. It was different, but the choirs, they met the challenge.”