Behind the Scenes: NFHS Raider Choir

Cantamus, the women’s choir of the 2017-2018 school year, at the holiday concert. [Picture by].

Ella McCook, Staff Writer

The NFHS mixed choir, called Chamber, and women’s choir, called Cantamus, will be putting on their first concert of the 2018-2019 school year on October 16 at Cumming First United Methodist Church. The concert will feature alumni from previous years as the current choir works to learn songs previously done under the direction of Mr. Gene Seese. Seese has been teaching at NFHS for 10 years, and has been teaching music overall for 22 years. He is currently working to get his master’s degree in conducting at Colorado State University. Seese has chosen three pieces from previous masterwork concerts in order to feature specific alumni soloists, past groups and challenge himself as he works on his classes.

Seese has decided to do an alumni concert this year because it is the fifth anniversary of the masterworks, a long piece of music with multiple songs or movements. He “thought it was a nice idea to bring back former members too, so they can see where we started from and current students can see the influence music has on people.” This concert also aligns with the 25th  anniversary of the opening of North Forsyth High School.

The NFHS choirs began learning music on the first day of school and are continually working hard to learn the Mozart “Requiem,” “Conversion of Sal” and “Let Everything That Hath Breath.” According to Seese, the Mozart “Requiem” is “the hardest I’ve ever attempted with a high school group.” The choirs are learning these pieces through practice tracks and detailed rehearsals in class. Seese “hopes to bring in a local college professor to run a clinic with us on the music.”

Katie Harrill, vice president of choir, says the hardest part of being in an advanced choir is “that they are always challenged with new music and are held at high expectations.” Harrill states that although this can be challenging, “in the end it makes us better as a whole.” Many of the officers, as well as the common members, must work to learn music and must help put together extracurricular events. Harrill states that if there is one thing she wants everyone to know about choir, it is that “it’s harder than it looks and there is a lot that goes into it.”


3 misconceptions about choir:

  1. Choir kids are not as nerdy as many people think.
  2. It is not just singing; it takes hard work and a lot of time, focus and effort.
  3. As Seese says, “It’s NOTHING like Glee :-).”