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UCS Honors Choir in tune for the new year
UCS Honors Choir in tune for the new year
Posted on 11/18/2019
Choir students performing

Graebner Elementary sixth grader Jae Gonzalez is a proud member of the UCS Honor Choir who already has her eye on the future.

“I really love to sing, and I thought what a better way to boost what could be my career than joining the choir,” she said.  “It’s really fun. It’s the best thing that happened to me this year.”

Gonzalez and 49 students from each UCS elementary are participating in this year’s Honors Choir.

Students audition with their school elementary music teacher to be part of the choir, which practices every week after school beginning in September and finishing with its public concert in January. 

Two students participate from each school in what has been a tradition in UCS for more than 40 years. 

“We want to give elementary students a chance to experience choral music, and to give those elementary students who really love to sing a chance to have the opportunity,” said Susan Rosso, an elementary music teacher and co-chair of the K-12 Performing Arts Department.

Rosso works with secondary music teacher Jennifer Gard-Eret and elementary teacher Dana Gress to teach and choreograph students. 

This year, students are performing seven pieces:

Flight of the Grackles by Janet Gardner
Lunar Lullaby by Jacob Narverud
How Can I Keep From Singing  Arranged by Greg Gilpin
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burnin' Arranged by Gret Gilpin
Duerme, No Lores, Arranged by Juan Tony Guzman
Sing Arranged by Mark Brymer
Wau Bulan Arranged by Tracy Wong

“We try to select different genres and culture to give them a wide range of experiences,” Rosso said. 

Violet Procunier, a Messmore Elementary student, is in her second year of the choir. 

“It was soooo much fun,” she said. “You get to learn all these new fun songs and get to know all of these cool people.”

The performance – which is open to the public – is scheduled for January 8 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Henry Ford II High School. 

“I hope they are inspired to keep singing and continue in the upper programs,” Gard-Eret said. “Also, there is something to be said about lifting all of their voices together and the empathy and the feelings that it taps into. I think it’s uplifting.”