The prestigious Westminster Choir of Princeton, New Jersey stopped by Timber Creek this past Wednesday, Jan. 16 to perform for the Varsity and Chamber Choirs.
Being one of the top choir colleges in America, this campus visit was the chance of a lifetime for aspiring musicians. The Westminster Choir does a tour every year, and this one just so happened to extend to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Choir director, Adrian Kirtley, jumped on the opportunity to have the “Britney Spears of Choir Colleges” visit the school.
“I found the director on Facebook and added him so that I could post videos of our kids and subliminally have him watch them,” Kirtley said. “He emailed me the next day asking if he could bring his choir to our school to recruit.”
When Westminster arrived in the choir room, they did a lot more than just perform. Prefacing their performance, Director Joe Miller gave a brief summary of their tour and the life of a choir student, both of which consist of busy schedules and a balancing act of choir and academics.
Following their introduction, the choir began their performance. The very first note left everyone in the audience breathless, and brought them to tears by the end of the song. The resounding applause was enough to prove that this college visit changed the lives of every aspiring singer in the room.
“This [performance] affirmed the feeling that I want to do music [in college],” said Chamber Choir member, Rachel Mareth.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the experience, however, was the feedback Timber Creek received after it was their turn to perform. Multiple Westminster students said that was the best high school performance they had ever seen and many more complimented the spirit of the high school singers.
After the praise, Miller stepped in to give the student choir some helpful tips and had them sing certain parts in a few different ways to establish the fullest, smoothest sound. He brought a few students down from the risers and had them hold hands while going back and forth around a circle to maintain their rhythm.
Throughout the visit, Miller interjected various information about Westminster and all the opportunities in place for high school students, such as their summer program Vocal Institute.
“Vocal Institute is a two week program…for high school students, you come and you basically get to feel what it’s like being a Westminster Choir College student,” Miller said. He continued with more information about the school, sc
holarships and the audition process.
After Westminster left, Kirtley led a small discussion with the Chamber Choir and everyone was so in awe by what they had just heard, some of them still sniffling from the tears. Over half the audience said they wanted to audition for Westminster and already began planning the occasion.
Westminster Choir will only be visiting two DFW schools on this tour, and Timber Creek was honored to have this once in a lifetime experience.