Extracurricular Choral Activities
Montgomery County Youth Chorus
The Montgomery County Youth Chorus (MCYC) is a countywide performing ensemble that recognizes talented singers in grades 10-12. This special choral group provides qualified students with an opportunity to interact with peers who demonstrate high musical ability and interest. Auditions take place in April for the following school year’s chorus. Rehearsals begin in September, and culminate in a concert for family and friends in November.
Each year Walt Whitman High School has many students audition for the Junior (9th grade) and Senior (10th-12th grade) All-State choral ensembles, with tremendous success. We encourage all music students to consider auditioning. The All-State auditions are overseen by the Maryland Music Educators Association and take place on a Saturday in November. Audition materials for All-State ensembles will be made available the first week of school.
The audition process for All-State ensembles is not complicated. Here are a few tips:
- Prepare! Don’t procrastinate. Find out the dates for this year’s auditions and sign up during your chorus class. These auditions are very competitive and cramming your preparation at the very end will dramatically reduce your chances of success. Set up a practice calendar and pace yourself. Periodically record your efforts and critique your progress. Practice in front of a mirror and in front of friends and family.
- Seek help! Come to the practice sessions that Mr. Davidson holds each fall. Also, your private voice teacher is your best resource! If you are looking for help in finding a teacher, please talk to Mr. Davidson as soon as possible.
- Dress and act professionally! Remember that you have only one chance to make a first impression, so approach the audition with an air of confidence, not arrogance. Take your time and think before you perform.
Classical Me Performances
The Music Department’s “Classical Me” concerts are designed to provide Whitman’s dedicated musicians who study privately beyond school an opportunity to perform and showcase their individual talents for staff, friends, and family. This tradition of musical excellence will continue this year with concerts tentatively scheduled for November, February, and May. For questions, contact instrumental music teacher, Ms. Terry Alvey at [email protected].
A Cappella Groups
Whitman has three student-run a cappella choral groups groups: None of the Above (NOTA) is a mixed male and female group, Pitch Please is comprised of all female voices, and Solid and Sound is an all-male group. These groups are run entirely by the students involved and perform at various venues throughout the year. Rehearsals are generally held once a week–on weekends or evenings–in a student’s home.
Auditions for these groups are held at the end of the school for the next year’s groups. Anyone in grades 9-11 may audition. Singers do not have to have participated in chorus in the past, but must be enrolled in at least one music class during the school year of their a cappella participation. Singers must be able to sight-read and hold their own in a large group when singing (most music is in eight parts with 16 singers, with two singers per part). At the audition, singers perform one song, a capella, of about 30 seconds (very rough estimate, choose a short part of a song that highlights your voice!). Any genre is fine, but pop or rock is preferable and musical theater is discouraged. Singers may also be asked to do some sort of blending, tuning, or other exercises on the spot that the judges will explain at the audition.
All Whitman students are eligible to audition for Whitman’s fall musical. Anyone who is interested in participating should speak to Mr. Christopher Gerken (drama director), Mr. Davidson, or Ms. Alvey. The 2017 musical, On the Town, will be performed at 7 pm, Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 16-18, at Whitman’s Daryl Shaw Auditiorium. Visit www.whitmandrama.com for more details.
Past musicals featuring Whitman’s outstanding musicians include:
2016: Jesus Christ Superstar
2015: Sweeney Todd
2014: Catch Me If You Can
2013: Miss Saigon
2012: Anything Goes
2009: Into the Woods
2008: Damn Yankees
2007: Aida (Winner of the CAPPIE for Best Musical)
2006: Funny Girl
2005: West Side Story
2004: Les Miserables
2003: Fiddler on the Roof
2002: 42nd Street