Concert Choir earns ‘Excellent’ at MSVMA State Choral Festival


A choir must be over a specific size to qualify for choral festival, so the Mercyaires and Advanced Glee joined forces to compete (Photo credit: Mrs. Rebekah Ferguson).

The Mercyaires and Advanced Glee, combined as Concert Choir, earned an “Excellent” at the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) State Choral Festival on May 13. Under the direction of choir teacher Mrs. Rebekah Ferguson, the choir advanced to the state level in March for what is understood to be the first time in Mercy history.

“We have worked extremely hard together as a group this year and have really challenged ourselves with the pieces we perform,” said senior Madeline Flynn. “The judges really recognized that.”

Despite being “the new kids on the block,” the choir scored just three points shy of the highest rating— impressive considering the combined group only had a single, hour-long rehearsal together the day prior to the festival.

“Having Advanced Glee join us made our overall sound fuller and more exciting,” said junior Justine Bahoura. “It was something I know I won’t forget.”

Following their performance, the choir received coaching from one of their judges. Conducting an all-female choir of her own at the collegiate level, the judge said she was impressed by the group’s mature tone.

“I loved being able to get feedback from a judge in such an intimate setting,” said Flynn. “It felt really cool to know we were rewarded for our hard work and learned new skills along the way.”

The festival was held at Central Michigan University, about a two hour drive from Mercy. For senior Lia Korzeniewski, the day proved especially worthwhile.

“Since I’m going to be a Chippewa next year, it was an amazing experience to be up at Central with the Mercyaires,” said Korzeniewski. “We did so well musically and had fun at our last competition!”

Though the music department closed out the year at May 19th’s spring concert, Mrs. Ferguson is already looking to the future. She told the choir that next year they will sight-sing in minor key signatures in preparation for next March’s district festival. Though a difficult task, this preparation will boost the choir’s chances of advancing to the state choral festival again.

Listen to the Concert Choir’s performances of “Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitacre, “Lightning!” by Greg Gilpin, and “The Star Spangled Banner”.