Putnam City North choir to perform for music teachers

Video: //players.brightcove.net/713285227/EksC8Exjl_default/index.html?videoId=5285376983001

The Putnam City North High School Una Voce choir is one of only two high school choirs chosen to perform this year at the state Music Educators Conference.

“When I think [about how] they get to be in that space and just sing for the first time, I think it is going to be so moving and exciting for them,” said Stephanie Keegan-Moring, choir director for Putnam City North High School.

The 36-member choir has been practicing for several months, striving for every aspect of the performance to be flawless.

“Public schools are the cornerstone of society, and experiences like this make a difference in kids’ lives and make them better citizens,” Keegan-Moring said.

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa. Keegan-Moring hopes members of the community will travel to watch the performance. Tickets are $5.

The other choir chosen to perform during the convention is from Bartlesville High School.

“This big conference is honestly a blessing for me. I never thought I would be in a group as amazing as the one I am in,” said Amber Ramjack, a junior and third-year choir member.

“Every kid should have some music in their life.”

Being connected

Seventeenth century poems, including “Musicks Empire” written by Lloyd Pfautsch, and songs from the 20th century will be sung in the cathedral, most relating to Christianity, but all were selected for their historical content.

“There are so many pieces to choral music, including individual technique, but overall the main thing we have worked is being connected to the music and knowing what it is about,” Keegan-Moring said.

Several of the pieces will be sung in languages other than English, including Latin and Spanish. A video of a rehearsal can be found on NewsOK.com by searching for Putnam City North High School Choir.

The choir rehearses five days a week and has a 95 percent retention rate from freshman to senior year. Keegan-Moring said the students have taught her that respect is crucial to achieving a unified choir.

“There is such a healthy atmosphere of respect here. I think that is really unusual and I think that is a whole different king of excellence that we have,” she said.

“We are all from different groups, different races, different likes and different types of music but we all become one to make a mosaic,” senior Mckayla Savage said.

Several of the singers said going to choir is something they look forward to, giving them a time to take their minds off the pressure of advanced placement classes.

“I have six AP classes right now and every time I come to choir, it is just relaxing. So music can really help with stressful situations or just life in general,” senior Kylen Huffman said.

Savage leaned on choir after facing a death in her family.

“When my mother passed in 2011, you know it was really hard and that was when I really started liking choir,” Savage said. “Music gets you through the hard times and no matter how different all of us are we can connect with music.”

CAPTION: Anna Pope, a junior and a member of Una Voce, rehearses with fellow choir members for the performance at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa. [Photo by Eriech Tapia, for The Oklahoman]

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