Choir’s crescendo swells at annual winter concert (with video)


Trisha Atluri

Coppell High School Choir sings “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” in the CHS Auditorium on Thursday night. The choir collaborated with Coppell Band and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at its annual winter concert.

Trisha Atluri, Executive Entertainment Editor

More than 240 Coppell High School Choir students sang onstage, filling the auditorium on Thursday night with the harmonies of Francis Poulenc’s arrangement of “Gloria.” String instrumentalists produced graceful melodies accompanied by Coppell Band’s wind instruments.

Each year at the choir program’s winter concert, every choir joins together to perform a concerted effort. Unlike other choir concerts throughout the year, highlights of the winter concert include stage decorations, professional instrumentalists and a practiced large choral piece known as a masterwork. It is tradition to perform an arrangement of “Gloria,” and this year, Francis Poulenc’s arrangement was chosen. 

After the dramatic performance of “Gloria,” the choir moved into Christmas mode with “Carol of the Bells” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Moments before the choir burst into “Sleigh Ride,” performers whipped out Santa hats and reindeer headbands, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Trisha Atluri

“This is the most decked out concert we have all year, no pun intended,” CHS senior Madrigals singer Natalie Bennett said. “We all love singing in these winter concerts. Holiday time is the best time to be a singer, because we’re spreading cheer singing all these songs that people know and love, and I really like making people smile.”

Coming off a year of virtual performances, the performance of the masterwork and the inclusion of live accompaniment made a difference. Depending on the chosen music, the choir directors decide which instruments they need. This year, CHS choir directors Bona Coogle and Aaron Coronado settled on a full orchestra. 

“Last year, we performed movements from Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ and it was virtual because of COVID,” Coogle said. “I’m just really thankful and excited that our kids got an opportunity to actually perform with a live orchestra.”

Before the final song of the night, Coogle and Coronado took a few minutes to recognize donors, educators and board members, as well as the nine singers who advanced to area auditions for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All-State choir. 

For freshmen singers, the concert provided collaboration with upperclassmen for the first time. 

“It was definitely different from middle school,” CHS9 student Pia Lala said. “The way Ms. Coogle made sure all the students worked together to sing the same pitches was really cool, because we weren’t that exact or precise about it in middle school. It was definitely different, and as a freshman, getting to know the seniors, juniors and sophomores and singing with them was a great opportunity.”

The night ended with a moving rendition of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” a song that holds a particular place in a Coppell mother’s heart.

“My son has autism, so it’s really special that he gets to perform, because this is the way he feels included,” B.E. said. “It’s why I love ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You.’ It’s miraculous for us in a way, because kids on the spectrum very seldom have this kind of opportunity. I’m so proud of my son for doing it and enjoying it.”

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