Choral Camp concludes on a good note

“In the photo we are singing with chairs over our heads, to engage our core muscles as it relates to our posture and alignment while singing. With a chair up over your head, you have to engage those muscles. When you sing, you also need to engage those muscles,” said Rodd Bauck, choir director for grades seven through 12 at T.F. Riggs High School.

The 2019 Riggs Choral Camp was held at T.R. Riggs High School theater on Monday through Wednesday, August 5-7, from 10 a.m. to noon all three days.

“At this camp we sing, socialize, and prep for the upcoming year,” said Rodd Bauck, choir director for grades seven through 12 at T.F. Riggs High School. “There are games, vocal exercises, and most importantly, food! We go over information concerning choir class, All State Choir, and Chamber Choir.”

This event is for high school students only. Any high school student is welcome to attend, even if he/she is not signed up for choir. Bauck stressed that, even if a student missed the camp, they will still have opportunities to audition for the Chamber Choir and for All State Choir if interested.

“Last year I had a total of 68 singers, which is maybe 12 or 13 percent of the student body,” said Bauck, who teaches at the high school. “This year, so far, I have 75 students signed up for choir. That could grow, and it could also diminish. I have three choirs total: Treble Choir (ninth and 10th grade girls), Concert Choir (ninth-12th grade guys and 11th-12th grade girls). Both of these ensembles meet during the school day. I also have an auditioned-for A Cappella Chamber Choir that meets outside of class. That ensemble is made up of grades nine-12 by audition, and this year It will be a total of 28 voices.”

“Choir is an elective, and it is taken for a semester credit. It is looked at as a full year class, but it can be taken as a semester only class. No one is forced or expected to do the full year, but most people do the full year. On average, 25-30 students letter per year,” said Bauck.

“All of my choirs compete in South Dakota High School Activity Association sponsored music contests. As a group, we can receive Academic Achievement Awards,” said Bauck.

The Chamber Choir will be the first to perform this school year, for Homecoming Coronation on Monday September 9. The first choir concert is the Fall Concert, October 22, at 7 p.m.

“Camp was a fun time. We spent time singing, playing games, getting to know each other, and eating food,” said Bauck. “We did many exercises that dealt with having to keep a steady beat while singing independently. We also did many exercises that incorporated some kind of movement while we sang, such as walking on the beat while singing. We sang in rounds for part independence. We also looked at some music for the upcoming school year. We all sang through an All State Choir piece to give all students a chance to see what that music is like.”

“We went over our choral handbook and other procedures and talked about the expectations in the classroom” he continued. “Some things of note: If you missed camp, you will still have opportunities to audition for the Chamber Choir, and you will have opportunities for All State Choir if interested.”

Students may audition for Chamber Choir on Monday and Tuesday August 19 and 20. Students interested in All State Choir can come to rehearsals the week of August 12-16 from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Riggs Choir room. These rehearsals are not mandatory, they are just for the students’ benefit. Actual All State rehearsals prior to auditions — which are Tuesday, September 3 — will begin on Tuesday, August 20, at 5:30 p.m.

For Freshmen choir students, and for any students who are new to choir this year or came back to choir after a year’s absence, there is a student and parent choir meeting on Tuesday, August 13, at 7 p.m. in the Riggs Choir room.

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