Malek Sings at County Choir


Courtesy of Mrs. Katelyn Reichard

Sophomore Sarah Malek performs at County Choir. She was the only student from Pottsville Area High School to be able to participate in this event. Mrs. Katie Reichard(director of bands at PAHS) said, “Having an in person festival after two years was awesome. Having the amount of people on stage was a breath of fresh air. This was my first one since being the conductor here. The director took the music to the next level and made the students better and even myself. They even had the opportunity to play instruments. Overall, they had a fun time and it was a neat experience.”

The host school for this year was Williams Valley.

The participating schools were Blue Mountain, Marian Catholic, Nativity BVM, Pine Grove Area, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Tamaqua Area, Tri-Valley Jr/Sr Area, Williams Valley and Pottsville Area.

Malek said, “It brings schools together and unites them through music.”

The songs they performed were, “Daa Naa Se”, a traditional Ghanaian folk song and translates to “Oh Give Thanks”. “Come By Here”, a piece to the tune of Kumbaya. “Bogoroditse Devo”, which is an all Russian piece. “America”, from the musical “West Side Story” sung by all of the females in the choir. “Jonny, I Hardly Knew Ye”, a traditional Irish folk song with the tune of “The Ants Go Marching”. “Old Man Noah”, sung by all of the men in the choir. “You Are The New Day”, a piece about love and hope. “The Lord Bless You And Keep You”, a full acapella piece.

Their first rehearsal was on Tuesday, February 8th. Malek said, “Each of the different vocal sections met with their group and rehearsed each of the songs.”

They had a day off on Wednesday and their next rehearsal was on Thursday, February 10th. Malek said, “We met the guest director and he made specific notes on what each section of the songs should sound like.”

Their last rehearsal before the big performance was on Friday, February 11th. Malek said, “It was an all day rehearsal with a few breaks and a break for lunch. The guest director, Dr. Roger Tabler made his final notes as we perfected the songs.”

Then came the day of the performance which was Saturday, February 12th. Malek said, “On Saturday morning before the performance we did one final run through of all the songs. We changed into concert attire. We all lined up for the performance then in concert fashion, we all walked into the auditorium and prepared to sing our arrangements.”

County Choir is an audition-only choir from all of the schools in Schuylkill County. Every year schools send some of their choir kids to a host school to audition with a specific arrangement of music. If the students get accepted they then get to rehearse over the span of four days and on the fourth day they perform a concert. It is a training of how to sing arrangements in the choir setting.

Malek said, “It was a lovely experience for everyone and it was an amazing opportunity that I was able to receive!”