By Harriet Wall
Lincoln Academy’s Lincolnaires and Concert Choir are traveling to NYC in March for their first out-of-State competition. The students are ready and eager to put themselves to the test. They will compete with groups from across the nation and receive feedback from professional judges on their performance. The students will be traveling from Thursday, March 12th through Sunday, March 15, 2015.
Beyond the competition, the students will have the opportunity to see “Les Miserables” on Broadway, for most their first chance to attend a Broadway production.
The students are diverse, coming from different backgrounds and having a wide spectrum of future ambitions. What these students all share is a passion for singing and the joy of being part of a like-minded community.
Several students agreed to share their thoughts on why they sing and what they see as the rewards of being part of the music community at Lincoln Academy. When asked what they gained from participating in the music program some common themes emerged. The top three responses were:
- Relieve Stress
- Self-Expression / Self-Confidence
For busy high school students trying to find their voices – literally and figuratively – relieving stress is a welcome benefit of participating in choral singing. Many elect to sing rather than have a study hall. The students find singing a healthy way to let off some steam and have a much needed break from academics.
Several students pointed to self-expression in singing. One student noted: “I am myself when I sing.”
One student noted that singing a solo had helped him to have the self confidence for public speaking. He found performing musically more difficult than speaking. He pointed out: “You have to sing words, not just say them.”
Many of the students were grateful for the sense of community they feel as part of the Choral Music Program. As one student noted, “unlike English or Math class, everyone who is here wants to be here.”
Shiann Keene and Tessa Walsh, both members of the Class of 2016, shared that the impact of being part of Lincolnaires was wide-ranging, and includes a better appreciation of music, relief from stress, and a strong sense of community and teamwork. They noted the satisfactions of “working together to make one great sound!”
Alex Enders and Michael Benner, class of 2016, also sing in Lincolnaires. Alex is looking towards music as a career. For Michael, being part of Lincolnaires has led him to explore playing the piano. They both agreed on the universal appeal of music. “Everyone can connect. Everyone listens to music.”
Audrey Harper and Kyleigh Plourde, members of the Class of 2015, shared a sentiment about the upcoming competition in NYC: “Let’s Rock This!”
The eager students have been fundraising since September to make the trip affordable for most students, but help is still needed. If you want to help these students compete in NYC and experience the thrill of attending a musical in NYC, please send a check made out to Lincoln Academy with “Choral Program” in the memo to Beth Preston at Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill, Newcastle, ME 04553.
Your support is very much appreciated!