Extracurricular ensembles start up for Normal West choir students


(left to right) Levi Miller, a member of Fully Diminished, Katherine Moody, a member of Colla Voce, and Leah Grehan, a member of Jazz Voice. Photo by Cameron Shandrow

Cameron Shandrow, Staff Reporter

Excitement stirs in the choir classroom at West as extracurricular ensembles start back up after being on break for summer. The ensembles available for choir students are Colla Voce, Jazz Voices and Fully Diminished.

Colla Voce is a female a cappella group that performs pop, jazz and broadway songs at choir concerts and other events outside of school. Junior Katherine Moody, a member of Colla Voce says her favorite part of being in Colla Voce is how “it feels to finally get a song down, it’s so exciting and I love that there are people who share that excitement.”

Katherine stated in a text message that the reason she auditioned was because she “thinks a cappella music is really cool sounding” and that she’s always wanted to be in an a cappella group.

Fully Diminished is our school’s male a cappella group. They perform versions of pop songs, broadway songs and jazz songs with no instruments. Junior Levi Miller, one of the founding members of Fully Diminished, said, “Fully Diminished helped me to break out of my timid singing shell…I’ve learned a lot about myself from Fully Diminished and how to grow as a singer as well”

Levi says his favorite part of Fully Diminished is “the people and the music”, he says “The music was another thing I enjoyed because in choir, we don’t really get to sing songs that are more relevant.”

The Normal West Jazz Voices is a group of male and female choir students that specifically sing jazz music. They perform at choir concerts, outside venues, and at the annual Illinois Wesleyan Jazz Festival. Leah Grehan (12) says “My favorite part about Jazz Choir is no doubt the community formed with hard working, talented, genuine people.”

Leah also enjoys that the music “repertoire always keeps me on my toes…It’s fun to really dig deep in challenging music with people you love so much.”

The director, Mrs. Williams, says her favorite part of directing extracurricular ensembles is that “you’re not trying to be all these different styles with the same ensemble, which I think is difficult in choir, like to sing really great world music and then to pull off a Mozart piece from Requiem or something like that. It takes a lot of flexibility and work; whereas, if you’re always singing in a pop vein or a folk vein or a jazz vein it’s a little easier to focus the group and I enjoy that.”

You can see all of these groups perform at every Normal West choir concert and at outside performances that will be announced later in the year.