By Guest Blogger: Sam Patterson '20
Hello everyone!! I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this unprecedented time. I am excited to be a guest blogger this week and share my journey throughout the DHS Choral program!
From being a quiet freshman to a supportive leader, I have learned alot about myself through the choral program. My journey in the DHS choral program began in the Mixed Chorus class and brought me throughout various different choirs that all had something to teach me. Many people coming into the choral program at Danvers High all want something similar: to get into the prestigious a capella groups that they have heard so much about! However, you don't realize that every single ensemble here at DHS has something unique to offer, and are all prestigious in their own way. I came to realize later on in my high school career that I was forever thankful for my experience in those ensembles and I would give anything to spend another day in one of those classes.
What changed for me throughout my time in the ensembles was my vocal range. I was a small, quiet freshman who had a much higher voice than most of the guys in my grade. If you watch any video of me from freshman year, my voice sounds like I was meant to be one of those tiny kids on Barney with the high voices. It was horrifying!!! For my entire freshman year, and a good first half of my sophomore year, I was a mezzo-soprano. I was extremely embarrassed by it and wanted nothing but to be part of the deep bass voices. As time went on, my vocal range changed, and so did my vocal technique, which better prepared me for the other ensembles such as Chamber Singers. Nowadays, I am a baritone in Falconize, but I wouldn’t mind to sing with the lovely mezzos on one more song.
As a result of my journey throughout the ensembles, my out of class commitment to the choral program started to increase. My freshman year I was approached by Mr. Grover, who had noticed that I showed interest in being part of the first ever Chorus Executive Committee (CEC). So I decided to break out of my shell and accept the offer. Four years later, I became the first ever member to participate in the committee all four years, and I was incredibly thankful for the lessons I learned. The experience I received allowed me to learn how to make decisions that benefit everyone as a whole.
When I joined Falconize in my junior year, I was a better musician and singer than I was when I had first auditioned as an eighth grader. The music theory and vocal technique that I learned in Chamber Singers and Mixed Chorus better prepared me for the rigor and demanding nature of Falconize. In addition, the lessons I learned from being a member of the CEC helped me to become a better leader in the choral program, even allowing me the honor of being President of Falconize. I am blessed to still be a member of the CEC and devote my time and effort into developing Falconize, but also the other choirs that I have been blessed to be a part of, as well as those that I have not been able to be a part of.
Without my experience in Chamber Singers and Mixed Chorus, my musicianship would not be where it is today. If I had the chance to be a part of all of the ensembles at the same time, I would! The different environments and learning that I was exposed to was so beneficial to my development as a singer, but also as a person.