Video by Jack Shirley and Spencer Hicks.
By Alexandra Dalton
Gathering Tuesday night at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth at 7 p.m., the audience of the A Capella waited, hooting and hollering for their collective favorites. Themed An American Journey, the choir was a collaboration of Coppell High School, Southlake Carroll High School, Newman Smith High School, Trinity High school and Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale.
Students built momentum up for the theme of the American journey to find their passion and connection for the pieces. “The American Journey was the involvement of uniting with one another through the emotions of love, hatred, joy, and sorrow,” said senior Ashwini Allen. “Each piece conveyed a meaning that anyone could make a connection with.”
Chosen by Z. Randall Stroope, the conductor and composer of the OSU concert chorale, CHS choir conductor Josh Brown was prompted to put this project together by a colleague.
“When we are invited to be a part of these select opportunities, it demonstrates how the Coppell Choir Program is emerging as a recognized choir program in the state and the nation,” Brown said. “I thought it would be a great experience for our singers so I jumped at the opportunity to be involved.”
The collaboration was new for most students and built connections amongst students because of their love for singing.
“The American Journey not only built confidence and beneficial work ethic among us students,” said Allen. “ We also educated one another in performing as a group while conveying the text through song, mentally and emotionally.”
Working for three months to master the performance The American Journey, some students struggled with the work load, but their accomplishment is thought to be a testament of their hard work.
“Instead of being overwhelmed by the amount of strenuous works ahead of us and simply quitting,” Allen said. “We accepted the gracious challenge and went head on and did our best in front of and with the other high schools and a collegiate choir, which was pretty phenomenal.”
Students were not the only ones to see the hard work ethic in each others work.
“I was very impressed by all of our singers focus and discipline,” CHS choir director Mr.Brown said. “They rehearsed for several hours and it had to have been difficult to remain professional and engaged for such a long amount of time.”
After the beginning songs such as “Carita de Amor”, “My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold” and “Prayer” as school collaborations, Newman Smith and Coppell had their moment to shine with “O Magnum Mysterium”.
Followed by Carroll and Trinity High School with “O Mistress Mine” and “It Was a Lover and his Lass”, the audience then turned their attention to the OSU concert chorale with multiple songs such as “Winter is White” and “Little Birds”.
Finishing with two collaborative songs “O Sacrum Convivium” and “Sure On this Shining Night”, the A Cappella choir ended their months of hard work with the elite college choir to the sound of a roaring enormous crowd. The theme shined through as they were unified towards their last notes.
“It was so versatile towards the audience and the performers. You hear the text and learn it’s defining meaning, and from there, you can apply it to a personal connection in your life that is public, or perhaps secret; it is your own interpretation, where there is no wrong answer,” Allen said. “The American Journey is a symbolic representation of one’s journey from loneliness to unity with one another.”