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Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercyaires, Varsity Chorus, and more groups put on an incredibly performed Christmas Concert



On Thursday, December 7, the Mercy music department held its annual Christmas concert. This highly anticipated event was very special this year; it included various different types of performances and a guest harp player. The Mercyaires, Varsity Chorus, and individual students have been working hard all throughout the semester to cultivate their performances for this concert. Mrs. Abha Dearing ‘92 is the music director at Mercy and the organizer of this event. She has been planning the concert for months and explained that the various different stages of the concert is what makes it so special.

“I find that the finale is often the most powerful piece of music because it brings people together for a large, finishing work,” Dearing said.

In the finale at the concert, the harpist played with the students, in a long, powerful ending.

“We have a guest harpist this year, and I’m excited for that because some of our students have never heard a harp player before. She’s an incredibly gifted player. I hired her from Ann Arbor, her name is Danielle Kuntz,” Dearing said.

Danielle Kuntz played two very elegant harp songs at the concert. She also accompanied both choirs for the finale, in an amazing piece with singing and the harp as music alongside. She and Dearing were awarded at the end of the concert with bouquets of flowers.

Dearing elaborates on the details of the concert, mentioning the importance of the revenue it makes for her department.

“The concert is free but donation only,” Dearing said. “The profits we do receive from donations will go toward paying for the refreshments, buying music rights, and hiring our professionals that the students get to learn from.”

She also stresses that being able to hire professionals like this harp player is crucial to the musical education of everyone in Mercy music groups. Dearing is an alumna of Mercy and has also had experience teaching here in the past. She came back to teach at Mercy after doing so once before, but despite it only being Dearing’s second year teaching in recent years, she has seen so much growth in her students already.

“This is a young group in terms of experience. In Mercyaires, some students have little music education but they have very good instincts. This semester has been a crash course in how to create music in an ensemble,” Dearing said. 

The Mercyaires are an audition-only, 10th through 12th grade choir at Mercy. They performed an amazing seven songs, not including the finale song. These performances varied in great difficulty, including songs like “Carol of the Bells” and “Boy from New York.”

Varsity Chorus put on spectacular performances at the concert as well. Dearing’s Varsity chorus is non-audition and includes students of all grade levels. Among other songs, they sang a beautiful Hanukkah song and were accompanied by sophomore Keira Kirkland on the flute.

As for the Varsity Choir, “they have also tremendously improved. Each one of them have excellent voices and are eager to learn, even though they are a small group,” Dearing said.

“For Christmas, the concert is a culmination of all of our efforts,” Dearing said.

She notes the impact that this semester’s hard work has had on the growth of the group of students.

“The Mercyaires have performed outside of school at different feeder schools, assisted-living homes, and community events,” Dearing said.

“One of my favorite parts is seeing students feel connected to each other and to the music, so that eventually they can confidently give it away,” Dearing said.

Some Mercy girls involved in this concert also sang solos. Sophomore Ava Eliya excelled singing “Hallelujah” at the concert. Senior Julia Holt also sang a solo to Taylor Swift’s version of “Last Christmas.” Other solo singers included sophomore Arya Agulto, senior Carrington Wash, senior Shaniel Smith, and senior Anika Lopes. 

Mercy students in attendance at the concert loved to hear their fellow classmates sing. An event like this brings together not only families of the singers but staff and students as well.

“I loved the ‘Mary Did You Know’ performance because it was such a beautiful song and Carrington has a great voice,” sophomore Keira Kirkland said.

“It was really great to see our Mercy sisters performing in a concert like this because I feel like sometimes they don’t really get the greatest recognition when they’re just in the corner singing at mass, for example.” Junior Alaina Mundt said.

The Christmas concert was truly one of a kind this year and a tradition well carried-on. Each of the music students excelled and performed amazingly to many others in the Mercy community. As Mrs. Dearing said, “Music is only worthwhile when we have people to hear it.” 

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