FCHS Chorus Department, A Family of Singers: Who We Are Behind The Performances


Sarina Starling, Staff Writer

When you think of Central’s Chorus Department, you think of a group of students who are hyper-focused on singing and developing an increased sense of musicianship among their fellow peers. While this is true, there is something greater found within our school’s chorus department: a valuable bond between both classes that makes everyone feel like they are a part of a family.

There are two officially known choirs within the Chorus Department: Camerata and Chamber. Before Mrs. Neal came to Central and Mrs. White was the instructor, Camerata was referred to simply as the “Mixed” chorus, despite Chamber and the lower-level chorus having boys as well as girls in their choirs. The levels of difficulty in regards to sight-reading and musical ability vary between Camerata, Chamber, and the beginner’s choir for musical theatre students that is unnamed as of the moment. Chamber is the top-tier level choir that requires an audition to get into the class, while Camerata and the beginner’s choir are similar to walk-on sports teams, meaning anyone who has an interest in singing or music can join.

When I first joined Chorus in tenth grade, I had no idea that I would make so many friends during my three years of being there. My good friend, Hannah Brenner, recommended that I join because she said I would love it, and so far, her words have held true. Besides English, Chorus is one of my favorite classes for many reasons, but by far, the most important reason is the friendships I have made in this class. Although our class is divided into sections depending on your voice part, we all intermingle and talk for the most part. 

Those that I interviewed agreed that our choirs are built on friendship towards each other, but Caitlin Jahn, (11th), says that “I think there are things we need to do for choir bonding. It would be great to do non-choir-related activities outside of choir where the whole choir can be together and get to know each other. There needs to be more socialization between sections and we are definitely heading in the right direction in making people feel comfortable.” Hannah Brenner, vice president of our chorus department, (12th), adds that, “Our officers are committed to making sure everyone is included and having a good time.” Cole Brown, (11th), says that, “I met my best friend in chorus. You make so many friends and you meet people who are like-minded to you.”

Despite the positivity and friendship radiating throughout our chorus department, we are still trying to push for more awareness. Cole, Caitlin, and Hannah all offered their solutions to help the problem. Hannah said that, “We would like to advertise our department and go outside of social media and flyers. [We should] encourage friends who have a passion for singing to join chorus.” Cole mentioned that, “Proper funding and advertising [would help]. They put so much out for football, athletics, and DECA. It would also help if Otwell had a choir to help feed into the high school and help our program to grow.” Caitlin summed it up, saying that, “I think it’s all about exposure. That means bringing as many people as we can into coffeehouse, selling people tickets, getting the word out about concerts. We should tell the faculty and staff about the chorus activities we’re doing outside of the ones that are formally scheduled. We should perform outreach to Otwell Middle School and other middle schools to grow our program.”

Coffeehouse is a fundraiser that the Chorus program does two times a year to help increase our budget. Tickets are $5 for admissions only, and $10 for general admission and concessions. What’s really cool and rather unique about Coffeehouse is that students can audition to perform and sing in the show. This year Mrs. Neal has decided to do away with a theme and instead make Coffeehouse an open theme, meaning that students can sing anything they choose, within reason, of course. In past years, however, a theme was present, but we as a department agreed that having a theme for Coffeehouse limits student participation, hence the reason there isn’t one anymore. Our first coffeehouse, which we call a Fall Coffeehouse, will be on Thursday, November 15th, and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Currently, our chamber choir is working on practicing songs to sing for Dr. Bearden and The Board of Education, who are coming to Central on September 14th at 11:00 a.m. Our first official concert will be on October 4th at 7:00 p.m in the Performing Arts Center and admissions are free.

Forsyth Central’s Chorus Department is so invaluable to our school because it helps build self-confidence in students and fosters friendships between people that can last years beyond high school.