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RHS Choir Ensembles Present Dazzling POPtoberfest Concert

Emma Basa leads the RHS Chamber Choir in performing “The Call” by Regina Spektor at POPtoberfest on Oct. 12, 2023. Katelyn Monahan

The RHS Chamber, Concert, and Treble choir ensembles dazzled audiences in the annual fan favorite, POPtoberfest, held on Thursday, Oct. 12, in the RHS auditorium.

The fun-filled evening commenced with a performance of the Beatles classic “Blackbird,” sung by the Treble Choir, which segued into several solos, duets, and trio pieces.

Audiences appeared to thoroughly enjoy the talented performers’ renditions of beloved songs, such as Taylor Swift’s “You Belong to Me” and Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence.”

“We had felt confident after many months of preparation, allowing us to really take the form of the sassy Destiny’s Child attitude,” stated junior Mikayla Watkins, one of a trio of vocalists performing “Bills, Bills, Bills,” the Destiny’s Child classic. “It was all so much fun, and I was happy to have the opportunity to give an iconic performance with my best friends.”

Selections from pop group ABBA led into a special preview of the RHS Drama Department’s two upcoming fall shows, Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and a musical adaption of “As You Like It.” Previewing shows is a POPtoberfest tradition, but it differed this year as two separate casts shared the stage for the first time.

Next, the Symphonic Choir performed three selections, featuring both the high school and eighth grade choirs. Combining the two ensembles helped introduce next year’s freshman to the RHS choir program, and it appeared that several enthusiastic eighth-grade vocalists would be making a noteworthy debut at RHS next year.

To close out the show, the Symphonic Choir performed two pieces. The singers were accompanied by a 23-piece pit ensemble, conducted by Michael Lichtenfeld. The ensemble featured students from the RHS Tech Band, whose members wanted to be in the band program but were unable to join Marching Rams for scheduling or other reasons.

“POPtoberfest was very cool to do thanks to the efforts of the choirs and choir council,” noted Bridget DeConto, vice president of the Choir Council, which oversees important aspects of the primarily student-run show, like stage crew, ushers and poster creation. “It was particularly our council members who helped design and organize this year’s version of the show, and we are grateful to them.”

Students chose the numbers in the show, beginning with auditions held at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Following their auditions, students submitted their preferred songs for review, which must have originated from a band or artist.

“It was the most student-run this has ever been, which is the goal,” Choir Director Matthew Swiss said. “The students should be doing as much as possible, and they really took it upon themselves to do that.”

The choir students of RHS have once again expressed their immense dedication and talent, and the payoff was a wonderful, memorable evening for all.

Stay tuned for the Drama Department’s upcoming RHS productions, “Romeo and Juliet” on Nov. 30, and a musical adaptation of “As You Like It” on Dec. 3.

About the Contributor
Yuri Perelman, Staff Reporter
Yuri Perelman is a senior at RHS and a staff reporter for Rampage. A life-long passion for writing led him to take Journalism 1 this year, and he is excited to contribute to the long-running tradition at Randolph that is Rampage. Yuri's prior writing experience includes producing the Ram Report morning show and being featured in numerous issues of RHS Literary Magazine. He is also a musician who is a member of the RHS Band and taught himself to play piano in a music class at the high school.
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