On Feb. 5th and 6th, nine Delphian School Varsity Choir members went to St. Helens, Oregon to participate in the Oregon Music Educator’s Association District 3 Honor Choir. About 120 students participated from 14 High Schools in Northwest Oregon, each nominated by their directors. Participating Delphian Shool students included Melissa Agrillo, Alison Wilson, Kristel Ehrlich, Kelsie Myers, Nicole Danko, Elizabeth Strickland, Chance Furgerson, JJ Pinkus, and Andrew Walther.
The pieces chosen for this year’s honor choir were in a wide variety of genres. One favorite, “Tres Cantivos Nativos” is a song derived from native tribes of the Amazonian rainforest (complete with jungle sounds and a rainstorm). Another favorite was a song that District 3, with assistance from Delphian Arts Director, Craig Bader, commissioned especially for this event from nationally renowned choral composer Vijay Singh. It was the adaptation of a renaissance love sonnet by Michael Drayton, “On a Bank With Roses.”
The closing song was a rousing gospel piece, entitled, “I Will Sing Praises.” The song featured Delphian soloists Melissa Agrillo and JJ Pinkus, who were chosen from a group of 40 hopefuls.
As part of the honor choir, the students rehearsed the pieces in sectionals and then with the master conductor, Dr. Steve Zielke from Oregon State University. He rehearsed them intensively for about 6 hours on Friday and Saturday. The students loved Dr. Ziekle’s energy and enthusiasm.
The event culminated in a public concert on Saturday. The concert opened with Delphian student and concert pianist, Elizabeth Strickland, performing a Chopin Waltz on the piano. The choir then sang their songs including the closer, featuring the Delphian soloists.