- Sword & Shield
Each year, the MBHS Choir rehearses a multitude of performance pieces to strengthen their repertoire. This year, they’re rehearsing for a joint concert with the Junior High Choir for a fall show, All-State, various competitions, and their spring concert.
The choir is taking a new spin on their fall performance this year:
"Right now [as of (September 30th, 2021)], we’re working on our fall concert on October 21st, and we’ll be doing that with our students from [the] Junior High. Covid has made that really difficult, so this’ll be really exciting. Some of the junior high kids will go, then some high school kids, and then they'll all go together for the end... The big thing that we work on is the winter show that’s in February," choir student said.
As if they were ink on sheet music, the two choir programs will unite in a melody to conclude their performance.
Most know Mr. Mandt as the Choir Director, but not as a teacher. Even with three years behind him at the High School, his dedication to and talent for teaching remains dear to his heart: “I started out singing real young, about eight years old. In some shape or form, I got involved in choir all throughout high school and middle school. Graduating from Mountain Brook High School, I was in the choir as a student and at some point along the way, I realized this was a career that would make me enjoy my days—not necessarily make me feel like this is work," says Mandt.
When Mandt began, "There were a lot of choir directors that were inspirational to [him] and it kinda grew on [him] to the point where [he] thought: ‘You know, this might be a cool thing to do as a job.’”
Knowing what you want to do from such a young age is rare, yet such a gift to you and the people around you.
The choir has a unique approach to stress. No day feels like the day before—something all too easy for choir. But, not a lot of us know what choir does in class to make the program as enjoyable as it is.
Senior Gabrielle "Gabby" Taichman has been in the choir for three years now, so she knows the ropes: “We get in there and do warm-ups. After that, we get into singing and sight-reading. It’s mainly for stuff like future performances or the really big stuff like SCPA [...]. And, we’re practicing for competitions in April, then we go off into a big group to sing—tuning, singing a couple of songs and whatnot. Then, we go off into sectionals.”
The class structure is designed to improve the students’ ability and take their minds off other academic stresses.
With this kind of structure, Gabby added, “we’re singing quite a few songs this year. We’re singing a couple in English, some in Swahili, and one in Latin. One...we’re singing with the junior high choir is I Sing Because I’m Happy for our concert on October 21st. It’s about why we sing, why we love it—kinda what makes us a choir.”
Great students and a phenomenal teacher is what you can make of the Mountain Brook High School choir. Putting the effort, the Spartan kind of effort, is an expectation they live up to.