By: Jamie Boghosian '18
This past Tuesday night, the fourth annual Chorus Awards took place in the Danvers High Auditorium. Mr. Alex Grover, the head of the choral department, promised to keep the ceremony “short and sweet” while still honoring the dedication of the students. Parents and family members were invited to come and celebrate their students’ success throughout the school year.
Mr. Grover started off the awards with a short speech praising the “work ethic and talent” that the students have continuously shown. He expressed how proud he was of the chorus as a whole and the individuals who put in extra effort as well.
To begin the evening, participation certificates were presented to every member involved in the choral program including mixed chorus, chamber singers, and the A Cappella groups. Samuel Montanari, DHS senior and member of Falconize, presented the participation certificates to first year students. Jake Roy, also a senior and member of Falconize presented certificates to second year students, and Erin Wood, a senior and member of Ingrid Sound, presented certificates to third year students. Finally, Jared Casey, freshman and member of Falconize, followed the tradition of a freshman presenting seniors with their fourth year participation certificates. Mr. Grover felt especially attached to the departing senior class this year because they were his first freshman when he started to teach at Danvers High. He was very pleased to be able to watch these students mature and flourish throughout their high school careers.
The next three awards, Most Improved, Outstanding Performance, and Outstanding achievement were presented to two students in each grade level. The recipients of these awards were chosen by Mr. Grover for their showmanship of good attendance, good performance, and overall good attitudes towards the organization.
To keep the evening lively and moving along, Ingrid Sound and Falconize continued the tradition of joining together to perform the Elton John and Kiki Dee classic duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. Soloists were Lindsey Richard, senior and member of Ingrid Sound, and Jake Roy, senior and member of Falconize. With the two soloists graduating this year, the parts will be handed down to returning members for years to come.
A large percentage of students were recognized for their extra help and service towards the chorus. Their awards commended them for their work in setting up stages, running bake sales, selling tickets to events, ushering, lighting, and accompanying the chorus with piano, flute, or drums. Mr. Grover says that the students go “above and beyond” to put in additional work which make the events run smoothly and successfully.
The last awards presented to students were plaque awards, where the receiving students’ names were engraved onto plaques in the chorus room. Rookie of the year, an award given to first year students who greatly attribute to the overall success of the chorus was presented to freshman, Clea Matt and sophomore, Nora Chan. The National Director’s award, otherwise known as the Fred Waring award was presented to Jake Roy and Erin Wood. Lastly, the National School Choral award was presented to Kevin Reidy. Mr. Grover explained how he has “a special place in [his] mind and heart for the recipients” because the students showed they were “willing to work really really hard to contribute to the program and to leave their legacy behind”.
As the evening came to a close, Mr. Grover had one last old tradition to fulfill. He called the senior members of Ingrid Sound and Falconize up to the stage to sign photos he took of them at graduation. Each year, the signed photos of senior members are added to the A Cappella cabinets in the chorus room. Mr. Grover started this tradition to recognize and remember the seniors and to have their autographs “just in case they become famous” which he says “is a likely possibility” given their talents.
After a night of following old traditions, Mr. Grover decided to end the ceremony with a new one. Students and family members made their way out to the auditorium lobby to enjoy a blue and white cake with “Danvers High Chorus” written in frosting on the top. Mr. Grover stated, “We were all excited to celebrate a great year of friendship and singing as we enjoyed our new tradition of cake after the awards”.