RAH Diary, 23 February 2018, Alysha – Park Hall Academy

Alysha is a Y12 student at Park Hall Academy and under the mentoring of our Artistic Director, Christopher Monks, she is leading the school’s choir. Read what she writes about the journey.

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As Park Hall Academy’s Creative Choir (“CC”) we are all about having fun through singing and performing; we love to sing together and, as their leader, I honestly think all the singers are a pleasure to teach.

We try to be as creative as possible so that we live up to our name and the main way we do this is through performing  mash ups of well-known songs that we know an audience will love. We also enjoy taking a well-known song and including our own creative twist by adding new harmonies or overlaps of singing.

Each singer in “CC” has their own unique style that they bring to the table which is anything from being able to hit the lowest or highest of harmonies or just simply adding personality to their singing… everyone is appreciated here.

“Being in this choir has made me so happy and performing at such places as the Warwick Arts Centre and the Royal Albert Hall in March is amazing. It is so much fun and singing is my passion and I love it through choir” – Alicia

All the singers in this choir auditioned to be in “CC” because they love to sing and it’s truly an amazing feeling to step back from teaching and see this. There are times where I simply cannot stand at the front and sing because I get to drawn in to listening to them all sing, all because I can hear how much they love it.

Our rehearsals for a performance can be intense or relaxed but I try my hardest to make sure that they are also fun. Our more relaxed rehearsals are when we have to strip back to the basics of singing which can sometimes be a little boring due to the repetitiveness but we still enjoy it.

Everyone can be a perfectionist at times and so when a song is finished we don’t stop there because there’s always room for improvement. I always listen out for parts that can be better or sharper and sometimes the singers themselves step out to listen to the song to see if they themselves think they can improve on parts.

“The people in this choir are an amazing, talented bunch of people and we’ve made an incredible bond and the things we get to do are incredible. We are lucky people” – Abi

When my singers perform, their talent shines through along with all the evident hard work that they have imputed along the way. Being able to sing in the round in up to five parts or perform three part harmonies is very difficult for some but these singers are amazing at this.

Due to their ability to comprehend it’s so easy to experiment with different skills. Our favourite song to sing is ‘Belle Mama’ because we can split into 8 pairs or sometimes single person sections and sing in the round with this many overlaps and it sounds amazing.

As a group, we really do have a great bond that’s been formed from the amount of time we spend together and, despite this amount of time, we don’t annoy each other that much really. We know each other very well and I know what each singer is capable of. I go into a rehearsal with a set vision in my mind of how each singer should look and sound when they are performing which I am able to do based on how much I know each individual person.

“You have helped us be the choir we wanted to be… we have the most respect for you as a choir leader”

I love teaching these people and have loved teaching them ever since I learnt how to teach them over a year ago now. When someone thinks of a teacher they automatically receive the assumption that they teach and only teach but instead, I’ve also learnt things from the students along the way. I’ve learnt how to put across my ideas, how to lead and how to believe in myself more all from this amazing group of people – sometimes I’m not the only teacher and I love that. It’s incredible to be able to share the feel of that rush of adrenaline in the build up to a part of a song.

Alysha, Choir Leader, Park Hall Academy

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