Students from Rockford High School (RHS) choirs once again made a strong showing at the State Solo & Ensemble Festival on March 19 at Aquinas College. Every ensemble from RHS received a “I” rating, the best possible score, in both performance and sight reading. These ensembles included: Chamber Singers, Chorale and Advanced Women’s Ensemble directed by David Duiven; and Chamber Women and Women’s Chorus, directed by Mandy Mikita Scott. Additionally, the Chamber Women was one of six ensembles selected from more than 40 to be considered for performance at Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) in May. This is among the highest honors a choir can receive in Michigan, and the third consecutive year that a Rockford choir has been so honored. Rockford High School made history last year as the first school to ever have three choirs to perform at MYAF in the same year. Final results will be determined following the completion of Solo & Ensemble statewide in mid-April. Rockford had 16 soloists and three duets participate at Solo & Ensemble and all received “I” or “II” ratings. The performers were junior Emilee Bodien, sophomore Mariah Bouwkamp, sophomore Adriana Craft, freshman Erika DeWard, freshman Hannah Fawcett, freshman Linnea Hjelm, sophomore Ellie Knoll, senior Corlene Laing, junior Kendall McConnohie, senior Scott Nadeau, junior Jill Nelson, junior Sarah Ombry, freshman Elaina Rahrig, senior Gabe Reitemeier, freshman Anna Wilson, junior Christian Wojtowicz, junior duet of Alberta and Gleghorn, freshman duet of Olson and Kruse, and duet of senior Reitemeier and junior Sunday. The RHS choirs are fast approaching their tour appearance in New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall in May.
Rockford High School Chamber Singers
Since opening in August 2006, Reds on the River has partnered with Rockford Public Schools on numerous occasions, including co-op work opportunities, numerous fundraisers, benefits for the Rockford Education Foundation, and the Community Unity program with the sports boosters and Youth Initiative Community Service Club. One particular favorite for both Rockford High School students and Reds is hosting the Rockford Chamber singers, led by high school music director David Duiven. For the past three years, Rockford’s top choir students have performed holiday music at Reds in December, in exchange for Reds’ donation to the Choir Boosters to help offset some of their musical expenditures. “The partnership has been tremendous,” noted Reds Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. “The students perform in quartets and meander about the dining room, singing carols. They jazz up their concert attire with fun holiday scarves and hats and really have fun with it. Our guests love the festive spirit they create, and they love the fact that we are showcasing our students’ talent.” The music has become so popular that Reds has expanded the schedule and invited other area schools to perform. The lineup includes: • Thursday, Dec. 2: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 7: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 9: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 14: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 16: East Grand, Rapids Bella Voce • Tuesday, Dec. 21: Northview High School • Thursday, Dec. 23: Forest Hills Eastern Quartet Holiday carols are peformed from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening.
It’s time to kick off the holiday shopping season downtown Rockford, and there is no better way than to turn on the holiday lights. Rockford’s fourth annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony will be held Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. in Peppler Park. Rockford High School’s brass ensemble, along with over 235 members of the Rockford High School choirs, will kick off the event with holiday music. Messages of peace will be presented by Rockford’s Mayor Chi Chi Rogers and Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Jazwiec. Gene Parker, of 100.5 The River, will lead friends and family in the traditional lighting countdown as Mike Bouwkamp and his family prepare to illuminate the town. This year we are very fortunate to have Aria Show Technology & Service provide the sound and lighting so everyone can hear the festivities above the roar of the water. So come and warm up your voices and join in great holiday fun. Then, after the lighting ceremony, stroll the streets, enjoy the holiday decorations, listen to the Dickens Carolers, and prepare to visit the businesses all dressed up in their holiday finest. The City of Rockford and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce wish you a magical holiday season.