Music students work to perfect sound

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Music students work to perfect sound

Julian Albright, Co-Editor

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As the music industry continues to evolve with new technology and new types of music released every day, U. City also prides itself with sticking with the traditional art forms.
Music always has played an integral role in the school’s curriculum. The students in the choir, band and orchestra classes work all year to perfect their abilities. Alumni band students return year after year to perform at the Homecoming football game, and choir, orchestra and band students finish out the year by providing the music for the graduation ceremony.
All of the performances take practice and dedication, and students prepare for end-of-year performances beginning the first week of school.

Caroline Ibnabdeljalil, choir teacher, gets her singers ready as soon as they walk in the door in August.

“From day one we start working on our state piece for March,” said Ibnabdeljalil. “It takes a long time to successfully pull off a performance.”

Ibnabdeljalil’s choir classes perform in nine concerts a year, which include the suburban choir competition in the fall, district solo and ensemble, the winter and spring concerts, state large choir, as well as the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, Music In Our Schools and graduation.

For students in band, Robert Giles, teacher, likewise pushes his students so they can perform at events and concerts throughout the year.

“We have at least two band concerts a year, plus the Homecoming football game and at least one basketball game a week,” said Giles. “We also perform in the Homecoming parade, May Day parade and graduation. Last year, we started going to Jennings’ Battle of the Bands.”

Adding to the list of performances and competitions, select students from band, choir and orchestra had the chance to perform and compete at the Des Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative. In early February, select students participated in all day rehearsals and studio time with UMSL faculty, which culminated with an evening concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. About 25 schools from the metro area participated and students competed in music, drama, art or dance. It is a selective competition that accepts only the best of the best.

“It’s the top kids from the schools who go,” said Ibnabdeljalil, who has been U. City’s Des Lee representative since 2008.

Choir students, for example, looked at the music they were going to perform during the week prior to the competition which required special, out of class rehearsals.
Whether or not students competed at Des Lee, everyone in the music department agrees on one thing: music is important for a student’s high school career.

“It leads to a better quality of life, and it can put you on a road to success,” said Ibnabdeljalil.

Giles agrees, and believes that music programs help boost school morale.

“I think it’s important that you are involved in what your school does,” said Giles. “It’s important to have school spirit and it’s important that you are part of something while you’re here.”

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