ADM to Move to One Choir

The+ADM+choirs+sing+a+combined+piece+at+the+yearly+Pops+Concert.+However%2C+next+year%2C+every+choir+concert+will+look+similar%2C+as+there+will+only+be+one+curricular+choir.+++

Photo by Lauren Brady

The ADM choirs sing a combined piece at the yearly Pops Concert. However, next year, every choir concert will look similar, as there will only be one curricular choir.

For the last six years, ADM has sported two separate choirs– one being a highly selective auditioned group that focuses on more difficult repertoire– and the other being an introductory, non-auditioned choir. However, an announcement was made recently within the Music Department. Because of many reasons, the decision has been reached to move to one choir, instead of the current two.

“The decision was made to ‘split’ the choir in 2015 due to the number of students in choir being at or near 100.  There was a large enough group of students needing the extension that an auditioned choir offers, and the idea was that opportunities… would primarily focus on those students,” Choir Director Becca Cassel said. 

In the wake of this decision, one large choir will be constructed with the people who make up  Concert Choir and ADM Singers. There were a variety of reasons for this decision, ranging from student involvement to convenience for students and Mrs. Cassel.

“In living the 2-choir world for the last four years, more and more younger students are eligible and want to take part in… additional extensions,” Cassel said. “Another part of the current reality of the program is that with more elective and DMACC opportunities open for ADM students, and some COVID-related reasons, there are just a lot fewer students in the choir program right now.”

Such an announcement has generated much discussion from ADM’s choristers, as it will greatly affect the way that the vocal music program is run. Some are disappointed to see the auditioned choir gone, but there is an air of optimism for a better tomorrow.

“I think that it will be a good opportunity for every singer as an individual,said junior and Singers chorister Brynn Busta. “ Of course, I’m sad to see the Singers group go, as it was a good experience for me this year.”

Although choir will look a lot different next year, it will have no effect on the jazz choirs, which will both be auditioned groups with a Varsity and JV group, and solo- ensemble will work the exact same way. There is also the possibility of having a smaller extracurricular chamber choir that is auditioned. With these opportunities, there are hopes of an increased sense of community between the musicians. 

I think having one choir for a year or two will re-establish the sense of community and camaraderie that is more difficult to achieve when the choirs are separated,” Cassel said. “We can perform music that fits the levels of more students by simply having more people in the choir.”

Although this decision was made with the best interests of the students in mind, it is not meant to be a permanent change. However, there is no timeline as to when there will be multiple choirs at ADM again.

I definitely think this move will lend itself to a stronger sense of community!  It will take some work to really feel like one group rather than what it used to be when we get to start in the fall of next year, but I know that students will be able to overcome those challenges,” Cassel said.  

Change can be extremely scary, and possibly frustrating for some of the Singers that have worked hard to get there. But Cassel has hope for the new program, citing the resilience of ADM students. 

“Change is hard no matter what or who it involves, but I’ve witnessed first-hand how resilient and adaptable ADM students are.  I wouldn’t make a change that didn’t have great potential for improvement,” Cassel said.