Unbelievably positive experience tagging along with the remarkable GUSD choirs
This past weekend I had the pleasure of chaperoning the Gilroy and Christopher High School Chamber Singers on a four-day choral festival under the direction of Mr. Phil Robb. The tour began on the Campus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; on to Occidental College in Los Angeles; continuing at Azusa Pacific College in Azusa; then performing at the Brea Performing Arts Center followed up at Disneyland for some pleasure and an awards ceremony to complete the 2012 Heritage Choral Festival.
My daughter, a senior at Gilroy High School is a member of the Gilroy Chamber Choir. In past years she attended a similar tour with Mr. Robb but this was my first time as a chaperone and what an amazing experience it was.
Initially I want to say that these are an incredible group of kids who represented both high schools. I, along with five other GHS parents, was so proud of them as they stood up and performed songs that they have been working on for weeks. The Gilroy High Choir consists of a more Veteran Choral group since many of these Chamber singers have been together since their freshman year and the Christopher High Choir, which also participated in the Heritage Festival for the first time as a “Chamber Group.” Both choirs sounded exceptional!
As an observer I had the luxury of sitting back and watching Phil Robb and his choirs at work. It is very easy to underestimate what goes into a single song and the performance. I now realize how much detail goes into each and every note and it is precise.
This experience was not just a simple field trip. The students gained more than just a tour and some fun at Disneyland. They received much more than a classroom experience.
The Chamber singers performed and competed against several other schools. They were exposed to three separate colleges and highly respected music directors who gave their constructive criticism to enlighten and broaden their vocal performances. They received several awards based on their performances and by the end reached out to each other and came together as one united group regardless of what school they belonged to. This is perhaps what impressed me the most. I was really touched watching these two schools support each other’s performance and the compliments they gave back and forth continuously. It was very inspirational.
But the highlight of the trip for me as an observer was when the Gilroy High School and Christopher High School Chamber singers stood up and gave Mr. Robb a standing ovation while other schools sat in their seats and did not cheer on their choir directors. I realized at this moment how much these kids respect Mr. Robb as a their director. He has a way of connecting with the kids using discipline yet making it fun and pleasurable. He brings out the best in all his students and it is extraordinary!
A final assertion that I want to express is the importance of this experience to our Gilroy Students. We should learn from past mistakes and make reasonable changes that are necessary. It may be noted that there is a lot of paper work and extra documentation to make a trip like this possible in order to keep our kids safe. I want to stress to the community and to the GUSD the importance and need to support similar trips. We need to encourage teachers to continue to offer these experiences in order to enrich the lives of our children. The 2012 Heritage Choral Festival was an amazing experience that our students, Director and chaperoning parents will never forget!
Paula McDermott, GHS Parent
Should High Court overturn ObamaCare, the American Dream goes out the window
Should the Supreme Court over turn the Affordable Healthcare Act, it will not be for the values we stand for, nor the principles the world admires, or the ethics we hold dear.
It will because we have become a truly selfish society, manipulated by greed and funded by dark self-interests.
If overturned, the rich will become richer and the poor and the middle class will remain at risk, forced to choose between insurance or providing for a family. The real American Dream is not a three-car garage but to live free of fear that a medical emergency will take away the dream that has yet to be lived.
Mark Grzan, Morgan Hill