Uniting the Plano District Through Song

Ava O'Reilly, Staff Writer

On Feb. 6, students from Plano Senior, Plano East and Plano West joined together to present the piece “Gloria,” composed by Rutter and “Missa Festiva” by Leavitt at the Eisemann Center for the Unity concert.

“The concert was put on in order to unify the school district and present a wonderful piece of music,” senior choral student Natalie Thomas said.

Students in the mixed and treble choirs at each school have been working over the past several weeks to perfect the complex pieces of music like the five movements piece “Missa Festiva”  and “Gloria” which contains three movements and is in total nearly fifty pages long.

“We rehearsed every day in class and worked really hard,” senior choral student Alexa Grow said. “There was also a three hour long rehearsal the night before the performance and we left school to rehearse all day right before the concert.”

The treble choir was led by Dr. Jenson, who is the Director of Choral Activities at Texas Woman’s University and the mixed choir was conducted by composer Dr. Stroope, who is the Director of choral and vocal studies at Oklahoma State University.

“Our conductor did a great job working with us and was very passionate during the whole rehearsal,” senior choral student Paige Koepke said.

This was the first Unity Concert in almost a decade which provided the singers with a revived concept for bringing together the entire district.

“I had a lot of fun because it was cool getting to sing something so beautiful with people who care about music as much as I do,” Grow said.

West choir has been a part of several concerts since school started and continue to add to the list with new opportunities coming up at every corner.

“We have participated in five concerts this year already, including the Meyerson with the Dallas Symphony Chorus and now we have gotten to go to the Eisemann center,” Koepke said. “Except this one was for all the senior highs in the district to be able to come together and sing as one.”

Even without the voices that each choir brought to the concert, the Plano East Senior High Chamber Orchestra and Percussion accompanied the women along with Jim Wilson at the piano and a brass section accompanied the mixed choir with pianist Scott Ayres.

“The music really came to life when the instruments were added and the choirs from each school were able to unite for one single concert for all of our family and friends,” senior choral student Lauren McCullough said.

The performance at the Eisemann center was for family and friends to celebrate the uniting of an entire school district for one night through music.

“The Unity Concert was amazing and also a new experience with new people that was once in a lifetime,” Grow said.