The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 4, 2008


Carlisle School choir receives state recognition

In the last few years Megan Fitzharris has brought the Carlisle middle school choir from a pleasant-sounding bunch of kids to a formidable group of singers deserving state-wide recognition. Selected as one of six school choirs, and the only one not at the high school level, Carlisle performed one week ago at the Park Plaza Hotel for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) annual conference.

“My belief that quality literature and high expectations are not beyond the groups of middle school students was strongly reinforced,” said Fitzharris. In addition to weekly practices during lunch, tutorials and immediately after school, the Carlisle students rehearsed Wednesday evenings from 7 - 8:30 p.m. for most of the winter, and successfully learned and performed ten pieces of music for a full 30-minute program.

“The students gained a strong sense of achievement and success, and are able to demonstrate and discuss good choral techniques – skills that will be with them for the rest of their lives,” she continued. “I am so thrilled for them!”

Friday night’s performance brought the audience to their feet. Fitzharris concluded, “To be honored with an ovation by my colleagues from across the state meant a great deal to me.”

The choir next sings in the state competition tomorrow, Saturday, April 5, at 11:30 a.m. in Norwood, hosted by the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA). Fitzharris enabled Carlisle to win its first gold medal as a choir at MICCA in 2006. Fitzharris admitted to great surprise the first time the group won a gold medal – she confessed the most she hoped for was “a silver.” Last year, the choir repeated with a gold medal.

After performing a long program to a very discerning group of music educators last week, the Carlisle middle school choir hopes to deliver. After all, at MICCA, the students only have to sing three songs, so it is unlikely they will hold anything back, especially with Fitzharris directing the group. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito