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Northville Vocal Music Groups’ Sweep at Contests Noteworthy

It’s rare for any Michigan high school to as many superior ensembles in one season as Northville did

Northville High School has long had a history of vocal music excellence, but the accomplishments this year are exceptional, choir directors say. (Photo: Beth Dalbey/Patch)
Northville High School has long had a history of vocal music excellence, but the accomplishments this year are exceptional, choir directors say. (Photo: Beth Dalbey/Patch)

The 2013-2014 school year has been something to sing about for vocal ensembles at Northville High School.

Four ensembles came home with top honors from the Michigan School Vocal Association’s March 22 State Solo and Ensemble Festival, the school district said in a news release.

The winning groups included:

  • BackBeat, a nine-member men’s ensemble
  • TrebleMakers, a 10-member women’s ensemble
  • Freshman Select, made up of 16 ninth-grade singers
  • Chamber Choir, a 20-member mixed ensemble

All four groups qualified earlier this year to compete in the prestigious statewide competition.

The Chorale and Chamber Choir groups earned superior ratings at the District Choral Festival, also held last month.

The newspaper said that even with Northville’s long history of excellence in its vocal music program, the sweep is noteworthy, as it’s rare for a Michigan high school to have so many superior ensembles in one season.

The TrebleMakers and Chamber Choir were named the state’s top ensembles at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival, which qualified them to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) next month – an invitation extended to only exceptional high school student artists. Less than 1 percent of student applications are selected to participate in the three-day celebration of the arts will be held at Western Michigan University.

“Northville High School has been selected for MYAF honors several times in previous years. It is a recent first for both choirs currently under consideration,” Mary Kay Pryce, Northville HIgh School choir director said. “This is, indeed, an honor as they would be placed among the top 12 vocal ensembles in the state. We’re so proud to have gotten this far.”

Mark Krempski, also a choir director at the high school, credited the vocal program’s success not only to the talent and work ethic of the students involved, but also the support of parents and the community and a focus on a performance-based curriculum.

“Colleges and universities are always recruiting our students to be in their choral ensembles because they know our singers are literate and sophisticated musicians when they graduate,” he said.

Community members have a few more chances to hear the choirs. The NHS choirs will sing the National Anthem April 16 at Comercia Park when the Detroit Tigers Take on the Cleveland Indians.

Two more concerts are planned at the high school auditorium on May 14 and May 15, both beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $7 and are available by by emailing prycema@northvilleschools.org.


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