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Legend High School Choir hosts ‘House Jacks’ for a cappella master class

Choir students learning new music

PARKER – Most say that music is a universal language. For students of Legend High School’s Choir, that dialect was delivered by world-renowned a cappella group Deke Sharon and the House Jacks on Friday, March 14 during an all-day master class.

Legend High School Choir Director Dr. Kurt Stroman emphasized the importance of music and it’s impact on students. “There is nothing that is more authentic than music when you talk about those things because it instills them all, collaboration, creativity and all of that stuff is inherent right there with the music.” 

He added, “By using the type of music that Deke Sharon arranges, it captures the interest of the kids from the very get go because of the connection to the music themselves, so I use that as a pathway to reach kids.”

For students, this was not just an easy day of music. It was an in-depth analysis of the intricacies of multi-part a cappella music. Even with the complexities, most students admit that this type of music is a relief from the strains of their core classes. 

“Music is a great release for stress during the school day. It feels good to come sing in choir during the week and let go of some of that stress from the math and the blah, blah, blah chunks of reading, so it’s a great escape to sing with other people who enjoy music as well,” said Legend Junior Auggie Mustillo.

Legend Senior Jared Beckstead added, “I think that the music here really speaks to everyone, so it’s a way for everyone to kind of connect–a really great opportunity to learn but have fun together.”

And even though some of the students find relief from the daily grind of their standard classes, they also find a way to integrate what they learn from music into their other classes.

“Just being in choir, you’re being disciplined to stay in a classroom setting and really focus on what you need to do and getting all the details you need,” said Legend Junior KJ Sheldon.

Mustillo added, “It especially helps in math, I play guitar, so I see a lot of the numbers and shapes and everything like that, It’s all patterns and it all just makes a lot of sense. In English there’s some really great lyrics and it’s poetry, a form of art.”

Throughout the afternoon class in the school’s auditorium, you could sense the ‘togetherness’ of some 400 students as they worked on songs to be performed with the House Jacks the following evening. 

“Music, it’s a great way for everyone to have an opinion about something, there’s stories in music and everyone can relate to music, everyone has their own taste and it brings people together,” said Mustillo.

“Everyone can enjoy music in some way, so the fact that it brings everyone together and everyone can understand and enjoy it, is a really cool way that it brings society together,” according to Beckstead.

But in the end, Dr. Stroman contends that regardless of what path these students choose, the lessons learned today and throughout their choir experience will ultimately benefit them.

“We’re not going to have 400 students become professional singers but we’ll have 400 kids in our program that are going to go out and learn how to work with each other, to develop those skills with cultural differences, to collaborate, to communicate with each other in ways that maybe they wouldn’t have understood if they hadn’t been able to be in a school setting like a music room.”


March 19, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: High School Education

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