The Voices of NPHS: This Winter’s Voice Class Performance

Hayden LaRocque Green, Features Editor

While singing in front of a group is nerve-racking, performing by yourself is even more daunting. And yet, on January 18th and 19th, all members of the Voice Class program did exactly this. 

Every year, these NPHS students gather for two performances. In the winter, these songs are selected by Mrs. Kirkland and Mrs. Crockett, while in the spring students can select their own songs as long as they pertain to the theme. 

Students spend the second marking period preparing for the Winter Performance, held in the auditorium. During this time, they miss one class every week to go to a voice lesson. 

NPHS junior Hans Calderon has been in voice class for three years, and doesn’t mind having to miss class.

“It’s not really a big deal because I can just get the notes or make up the work,” Hans said.

Before performing, many emotions can arise from students. Most of the juniors and seniors are assigned songs of different languages, and mastering this can create a whole new challenge.

“I felt confident in preparing to sing, but once I was there it was really stressful,” Hans said. 

Aside from being nervous to sing, the technique needed to perform can also generate pressure. Eden Kim, a freshman, was nervous for her first voice class performance because it was a duet.

She said, “We were patching up the duet in the rehearsal before, so I was nervous about how it would all click on stage. I’ve performed in front of people before, so the actual singing wasn’t as nerve-wracking for me.” 

While this preparation can generate stress, it can also bring forms of nostalgia, as it’s the seniors’ last chance to perform at the winter concert.

Christine Benites, a senior and four-year member at NPHS, said: “This performance was really emotional for me because I feel like I’ve improved a lot as a singer. Also, the music department is like a community so it’s sad to realize I’ll be leaving that next year.” 

The seniors in Voice Class are sure to be missed by everyone, but especially Mrs. Kirkland. After having taught the program for nineteen years, watching and playing for the seniors is still a gratifying experience. 

“There are some students who were really struggling their freshman year, and then just blew it away when they performed last night [January 18th]. Seeing that growth is amazing,” Mrs. Kirkland said. 

Last year, the winter recital was virtual due to COVID-19. This winter, seeing the students able to gather together again so amazing.

Mrs. Kirkland said: “Having a performance more in person was great. I knew that the students would rise up to the occasion no matter what we did, but everyone did beautifully last night, musically and expressively.” 

The theme of the spring concert is The Golden Age, which includes songs from the 1920-1960s.

“These songs are a part of our American history and culture and have transformed the music that we currently have,” Mrs. Kirkland said.

This upcoming performance is highly anticipated, even now.

“The spring recital is a whole different type of sound. It doesn’t even feel like we’re singing, it’s just like everyone is having fun,” Hans said. 

Christine is already anticipating the spring concert: “As a senior, there’s so many more opportunities for us in the spring to enjoy. And it’ll be my last performance in voice class, so it’s really sentimental.”