- In October, we hosted over 65 alumni choir members spanning as far back as the West View High School class of 1948 for our first ever Alumni Choir Reunion. Fittingly, we paid tribute to long-time NHHS choral legend Mr. Frank Cummings, who we unfortunately lost in December. We were glad that his son was able to attend the concert and play some of the recording for him.
- Just a few weeks later, we joined forces with our Wind Symphony to present 4 movements of Carl Orff's famed composition Carmina Burana. Collaborative musicianship was at its finest during this concert.
- The spark to this partnership was the Symphonic Choir's participation in Pittsburgh Concert Chorale's Festival of Choirs in late October. Dr. Susan Medley, director of the PCC, came in to work with our singers, and we shared the stage with the PCC and McKeesport High School in a wonderful afternoon of choral music.
- The beginning of November brought about the Women's Choir's first performance as part of the Women's Choral Festival at the First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood. This gave us the opportunity to work toward a public performance much earlier in the year than this group typically has, and also provided a chance to hear women's choral groups ranging from high school to college and community choirs.
- December gave us the opportunity to share the stage with the River City Brass Band at Carson Middle School. We premiered a piece written specifically for this concert by one of the RCBB musicians.
- The annual Madrigal Dinner provided entertainment for friends, family, and community members while also raising money for our choral program. The Choral Parents Association did a fantastic job as always of helping to transform Athanasian Hall into a medieval castle banquet hall.
- Speaking of the Choral Parents Association, thanks to Ms. Cathy Mann, they now have their own checking account and we have been running fundraising monies through our CPA of NHSD treasurer, which means less accounting work for me!
- As usual, the North Hills Singers provided "tidings of comfort and joy" to various community groups during their annual holiday performance tours.
- Both of our drama clubs put on stellar productions: "Incognito," the fall play; "Shrek the Musical Jr.," our winter musical at the middle school, and "Footloose," our high school spring musical that earned 7 nominations for Gene Kelly awards. All of this during some dicey weather and unpredictable delays and cancellations, shuffling the rehearsal schedules.
- Our annual Cabaret Night had its largest crowd to date, and we were able to showcase 20 different "acts" in solo, duet, or small group singing.
- We celebrated Music in our Schools month (a little later than planned!) by presenting our annual combined choral concert with a theme of music from the 1950s and 60s.
- Many of our students participated in interviews and surveys for our Middle States Association Program of Distinction application and site visit. The site reviewer had very positive comments about our music program at NHHS and has recommended that we receive the Program of Distinction credential. We will be only the 4th school in the country to have earned this honor.
- We spent the second half of April and first week of May adding color to the high school by creating a mural on the wall between the 2 sets of doors to the choir room. Our "We are the Music Makers" mural was featured at Arts Alive.
- All 3 high school choirs competed in the Music in the Parks festival at Hershey this past weekend and did well, earning Excellent and Superior ratings, with the North Hills Singers also winning the Best Overall High School Choral Ensemble award.
Tired yet?! We're not done! We still have a few more events left on our calendar...
- This coming Friday, our high school drama club will present its annual Gala fundraiser, showcasing singing, acting, and dancing talent.
- May 29th brings about our annual spring concert with senior recognition. We have near 30 seniors to honor, sending them off to the next chapter of their lives and celebrating their accomplishments here at NHHS.
- The next day, our Footloose cast will perform on the Benedum Stage as a nominee for Best Musical. With any luck, we'll bring home a few awards!
- And, the last week of school provides the chance for auditioning a new North Hills Singers group, who will very quickly join together and sing a few short days later at graduation.
This may be the busiest year our program has had to date, and I'm so grateful that our students rise to every challenge that is put before them. We've tackled some incredibly difficult music together and continue to perform at the highest level that we can, always aspiring to be better musicians and to live out the words of our alma mater, making "memories that never die."
Thank you all for a full and memorable year.