Treble choir to perform at SWACDA convention


Photo by Yusra Waris

Choir students practice “Хвалите Имя Господа (Praise the Name of the Lord)” during their block lunch rehearsal. Forester said she chose multilingual songs to showcase the diversity of Hebron.

The treble choir will be performing its six-piece concert on March 10 in Oklahoma City at the Southwest American Choral Directors Association (SWACDA) convention.

To be selected to perform at the convention, choir had to submit recordings from three different years. Choir applied for this convention at the end of last school year and was notified of its acceptance over the summer.

“I was surprised when I got the call that we’ve been selected,” choir director Rachel Forester said. “It was kind of crazy, that feeling, and then I thought ‘wow, we are going to have to prepare to be the best and show the rest of the convention that Texas choirs are awesome.’”

The choir is given a 25-minute time slot at the convention and will be singing six multicultural pieces: “Bloom,” “Satamasho,” “Gloria in Excelsis,” The Tree of Peace,” “Tota Pulchra Es,” and “Хвалите Имя Господа (Praise the Name of the Lord).”

“What I like to do is celebrate the diversity of Hebron in the music that I pick,” Forester said. “Hebron is one of those schools [with] so many nationalities, and I want to bring that to the forefront of what people see.”  

The all-woman’s choir consists of 55 students from Acapella and Belle. Junior Shraavya Chitoor said she enjoyed the experience of working on the music as well as the other students from Belle.

“It’s such a unique privilege,” Chittoor said. “The experience so far has been highly rewarding. I have not only had the opportunity to leverage and further my leadership skills in our section practices, but have also built a close bond with the other girls in the group.”

Students began rehearsing for the convention in October. They have spent 30 minutes every day in class, block lunch every Tuesday and every Wednesday morning to prepare.

“I really enjoy the music we’ve been working on, and working with [Acapella] has definitely challenged me more than being in Belle,” junior and technology officer Sonal Verma said. “Not only that, but since there’s only so many rehearsals we could fit in, the rigor and pace has increased. It was different at first to hear different voices behind me and work with a different group than I’m used to, but I’ve gotten used to it.”

The choir is one of the two treble choirs representing Texas at the regional conference. Forester said she is looking forward to the performance and representing the Texas choirs.

“I just want the girls to have fun and sing out,” Forester said. “I’m looking forward to hearing them do that because if they do that, their minds are going to be blown and the audience’s minds are going to be blown. It’s [important] we please ourselves with the work we’ve done because when we please ourselves, we get the message across [and] the audience is going to love it.”