The student news site of Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO

GCAAtoday

GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

All+GCAA+choirs+with+the+IN+UNISON+Chorus+singing+%22Tshotscholoza%22+under+direction+of+Kevin+McBeth+on+the+stage+of+Powell+Hall.+Photo+Courtesy+of+the+Saint+Louis+Symphony+Orchestra.+
All GCAA choirs with the IN UNISON Chorus singing

All GCAA choirs with the IN UNISON Chorus singing "Tshotscholoza" under direction of Kevin McBeth on the stage of Powell Hall. Photo Courtesy of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Courtesy of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Courtesy of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

All GCAA choirs with the IN UNISON Chorus singing "Tshotscholoza" under direction of Kevin McBeth on the stage of Powell Hall. Photo Courtesy of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Galen Selligman, Staff Writer

“That moment of ‘it doesn’t matter what your age is, what your background is’… it was a beautiful chunk of humanity right then.” said Wesley Smith, the high school choir director, of the choirs’ side-by-side rehearsal with the IN UNISON Chorus at Powell Hall.

The IN UNISON Chorus is a special gospel choir that sings with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of SLSO Associate Conductor Kevin McBeth. “…We wanted to expose students to what we have available through that chorus hoping that after they finish high school, and if they stay in they area, they want to come sing with us,” said McBeth of the occasion, “…this was the very first side by side, and something that we’ve kinda dreamed about and talked about wanting to do.”

“It’s very important to me, especially with GCAA being our neighbors right across the street, and some of those students had never been in Powell Hall, and I just think that that’s huge for this building to be right here, they’re staring at it everyday…” thought McBeth, “I went to a magnet arts high school… these were the new innovative, kind of test projects… then they just took off, these magnet schools have become kind of the standard, and now there’s the charter model, and so the fact that GCAA is in of a footprint of that, my high school was the same thing.”

“I don’t know what I really expected,” said Rachel Mueller, sophomore. “There were a lot of things that could have happened. It was just kind of a ‘I’m gonna go in there and see what happens’ situation.” But McBeth didn’t think that the students were alone in this uncertainty. “I think probably for both groups there would’ve been apprehension about what is this experience going to be like, because it was an unknown.” However, McBeth added later, “the moment the night started, you knew it was going to be a cool situation.”

“I think the main takeaway they got from the experience was just a feeling of how welcoming that people that are different from us can be,” said Smith, “We didn’t know any of them before we went over there, they come from all walks of life… and then we got up onstage and [the students] ended up next to someone at random that they didn’t know, and then everyone introduced themselves, and most of them gave them a big hug, or a handshake, and just made them feel really welcome.”

“Toward the end of the night, a lot of our sort of ‘sage-wise’ older chorus members really wanted to share knowledge,” continued McBeth, “so they got to hear about following their dream and pursuing what they really want to do, and hearing about the fact that GCAA is an opportunity that a lot of chorus members didn’t have… So that was a great opportunity for interaction, and a chance to really connect on an arts level.”

“Seeing all the adults there, and seeing how they were telling me how I should keep singing, and I should keep going with it made me think ‘I really want to do this, I really want to do this as a profession,’” said Reggie Coleman, junior. “It was really neat to see how everyone was acting together, and how focused they were and how much fun they were having. It really made it seem like a cool place to be,” added Mueller.

“…We asked was how many of the students in the 70 wanted to continue on after high school with a career in music, and there were lots of hands that went up, of the 70 I would say that at least of half of them,” said McBeth. “That’s kinda cool to see and understand that these are students at the beginning of their careers interacting with adults who are in the middle, and some of them well into their careers, to share that.”

“There were two pieces that we worked on,” McBeth said, “one African kinda tribal song that Mr. Smith had decided that he wanted to do with his singers on their fall concert, …and one piece that was written for Nelson Mandela, so it was kinda cool just to understand that our unity onstage was also brought through with the music.” “Basically, it’s a hope for better things to come,” said Smith, ”and especially with some of the happenings that have been going on in our city, it’s a message that’s good for us to hear.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Leave a Comment

GCAA Student Media intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Online comments are moderated by staff editors. Alerts will be sent to staff editors each time a comment is posted to the site. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed as quickly as possible. GCAAtoday does not allow anonymous comments, and requires first and last names and a valid email address in order for comments to be published. The email address will not be displayed but may be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News Briefs

    Information about the sixth annual 2018 Cabaret

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News

    Administration crafts and implements a new detention policy

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News

    The Phoenix Elite: new dance team aims to bridge pathways

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News Briefs

    Competitive fundraiser benefits hurricane victims

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News Briefs

    Students receive Honorable Mention ratings in national competitions

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News

    Purchase a yearbook for a chance to win tickets to see The Irreplaceables Tour

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News

    New lunch program implements feedback, conforms to desires of students after miscommunication

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News Briefs

    Choir student Preather Preuitt accepted into All-State Choir

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News Briefs

    Five vocal students accepted into District Choir

  • GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal

    News

    From community to costumes: Halloween safety in 2017

The student news site of Grand Center Arts Academy, St. Louis, MO
GCAA choir joins SLSO IN UNISON choir for first ever side-by-side rehearsal