Fine Arts Academy
There is no better place to study music than the Fine Arts Academy. In addition to vocal technique and sight-singing, students also learn to play the piano and take AP Music Theory. Having piano skills is invaluable to vocalists. Here at the Academy, singers also have the exciting experience of singing with an orchestra. Vocal ensembles frequently perform masterworks with our award-winning McCallum Chamber Orchestra. The choir and orchestra performed Schubert’s Mass in G in Dell Hall at the Long Center in Austin and in June 2009 on the stage of Carnegie Hall. Some of the other major works our choirs have performed with orchestra are Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah.
Though many members of the choirs are Academy music or theatre majors, there are five different levels, and the choir director welcomes any McCallum students who want to learn to sing. All five choirs participate in the UIL Concert and Sightreading Competition. In the Spring of 2016, all five choirs earned very high UIL ratings.
Singers also have many opportunities to perform in staged productions. Once a year, every choir student performs in Cabaret, a staged and costumed musical review of Broadway-style show tunes. On this performance, many students have a chance to sing a solo or be in a small ensemble. Cabaret is a tradition and a favorite.
Students may also audition for the musicals (a collaboration with all the performing arts majors–theatre, dance, choral studies, and instrumental music) and student-directed shows. These have included The Music Man, Titanic, The Producers, Ghost, Chicago, South Pacific, Beehive, Once on this Island, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Anything Goes, Evita, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Additional important works that the choir has performed are Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten with harp accompaniment and The Christmas Cantata by Daniel Pinkham accompanied by Brass Quintet.
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