BNHS Choir

By Matt Helm


BELVIDERE ─ Belvidere North High School Choirs presented their spring concert and awards night “Distinction” on Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

“The awards ceremony is our version of the Oscar’s, this concert combines entertainment and recognition of the hard work we put in all year,” Choir Director Dr. Phillip D. Vermillion said. “Every year we pick a title for the concert that is most fitting for the evening. Other ideas were ‘Excellence’ and ‘Honor,’ but we settled on ‘Distinction.'”

The choral program for Belvidere North at North Boone High School received superior rankings from the Illinois Music Education Association and many students were recognized as All-State Musicians. Awards were given to students from each of the six choirs, including Senior Awards.

“I thought the choirs did a very good job presenting the pieces we’ve been working on since February,” Dr. Vermillion said. “They showed creativity and artistry in their music, from the introductory to the honors ensembles. They all showed a great amount of growth.”

The six ensembles performing were Mixed Chorus, Show Choir, Choraliers, Treble Clef, Freshman Chorus, and Acapella.

Mixed Chorus opened the show with a three song set.

“The Mixed Chorus sang ‘One for the Altos’ by Jay Althouse, which is a tongue in cheek presentation of the typical two to three notes the alto section gets to sing,” Vermillion said. “The Mixed Chorus also performed ‘Pata Pata’ arranged by Audrey Snyder, which is a popular dance in South Africa similar to the ‘Macarena’ in the United States.”

Acapella performed “Russian Alleluia” by Tchaikovsky and Dmitry Bortnyansky. The piece was student directed by sophomores Eileen Bundt and Emma Gawaran.

“We studied Russian architecture, visual art, and paintings when we learned ‘Russian Alleluia,'” Vermillion said. “The students were challenged to present the mood of the song through another medium of art. We got to think of all of the other projects we made when we performed, making connections through art. It was an exceptionally rewarding experience.”

Belvidere North High School Principal Marc Eckmann presented awards and recognized student musicians.

“Tonight will be an evening of distinction and a musical treat,” Eckmann said. “We have so much to celebrate, especially the Choir Board. This year they’ve assisted with fundraising efforts and put together social events like the annual picnic.”

Dr. Phillip D. Vermillion also expressed his gratitude towards those who made the night possible.

“We are thankful to the Music Boosters group and to the director at Belvidere High School Karen Cantele, who was our accompanist,” Vermillion said. “We very much appreciate our auxiliary and outside support.”

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