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By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
The Pagosa Springs Girls’ Choir, under the direction of Linda Parker, is busily preparing for its featured performance with the Pagosa Springs Choral Society, Dec. 6, 7 and 8 at Pagosa Springs High School.
The annual Christmas concert by the Choral Society is a widely anticipated event, guaranteed to put the community in the spirit of the season.
The new Pagosa Springs Girls’ Choir, composed of girls in grades five to eight, is an elite group of singers who were selected by audition. Their beautiful sounds already prove that they are a cut above the average children’s choir.
“This choir is about excellence,” said Parker, founder and director of the group, and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. The choir sang its first performance recently at the Makers Expo, wowing the audience and giving a glimpse of things to come.
The girls meet once a week in the Pagosa Springs Middle School music room and carefully work on tone production, blending the vowel sounds of their words, rhythmic precision, entrances, cutoffs, accurate pitch, breath support and even choreography.
“Singing isn’t for wimps,” said Parker. “These girls know that and they know I expect them to work hard and give their best. The girls are beginning to understand that being excellent requires focused attention and energy. The joy we derive from rehearsals is not so much from a social standpoint as it is in accomplishing something amazing as a musical entity.”
The choir not only sounds amazing, but the members look good, too. When the girls auditioned, they were measured for their choir uniform, a glittering reversible vest that sparkles almost as brightly as their glorious sounds. The girls spend about an hour before their performances applying light makeup and having their hair French braided. They are taught that, when on stage, they must not only sing their best, but must also look their best. Their appearance does not stop with clothes and makeup, but also applies to uniform behavior when on stage.
“Being above average performers requires a lot of work,” said Parker. “The girls are learning that. It is a process that requires repetition and experience. They have to learn not to be distracted by friends sitting on the front row of the audience making funny faces. They have to learn to watch the director (me) at all times. They have to learn not to do anything that brings attention away from the group performance. To be honest, I am very, very proud of the accomplishments these girls have made in a very short amount of time. I hope that the community will be equally proud and will show their support for this group as it continues to develop.”