PHS vocal music to end on high note with concert


Portsmouth High School (PHS) staff are ready to welcome guests through their red and blue doors this May for a showcase of amazing, young talent from students involved in its Vocal Music Spring Concert.

The concert will feature talents of the PHS Voice Class, Portsmouth Junior High School Choir, Portsmouth High School Show Choir and the Show Band.

Teacher Emily Crandall is optimistic about the event and her students’ abilities.

“This is our final concert of the year. We enjoy having it in May to show off the many things we’ve learned in choir throughout the school year,” Crandall explained. “There will be a variety of music at the concert. We will have showtunes, gospel, pop, and traditional choral literature.”

The work for this concert truly started in August, since this is a highlight of everything students have learned this year, so it comes packing a powerful punch with a lot of rehearsal and practice behind the delivery of their craft.

“We start rehearsing at the beginning of the year with a lot of different types of music. Then, once the concert gets a little closer, I decide which songs we should include in our concert,” Crandall claimed. “Some songs we just started a few weeks ago to really give them a challenge!”

Crandall is very involved in the local arts scene and has been since she was a youth. Her mother was a music teacher and instilled lessons in music at a very early age. This passion guides her to try new things with students, sometimes inching towards complicated practices. Her students rarely let her down, however.

“My students always make me proud. I think to myself often that one song might be too difficult for them and they almost always prove me wrong,” Crandall said. “Oftentimes, the most challenging songs become their favorite as well as mine. Their sense of pride in accomplishing something hard is always a special moment at the concert. “

Having a wide array of ages and talents allows Crandall to shape a well-rounded and diverse night of music. She says that each performance group has its strengths, and it is impressive to listen to them hit all their notes.

“I think all of my groups have different strengths,” Crandall explained. “My junior high really excels at trying new things and they always surprise me with how quickly they can grasp new concepts. My high school show choir is always up for a challenge. Their excitement and energy are two things I really look forward to each day in class. If I tell them about a crazy idea I’ve had, they are always on board and willing to give it their all at any performance. My voice class singers, although small in number, really just know how to have fun. I’m teaching them foreign language pieces and we are exploring different types of music together. I love to hear their opinions on different styles of music and they’ve taught me a thing or two about some of today’s artists.”

The spring concert is Crandall’s way of celebrating a year of work and practice, while also ending on a high note, so the show is designed to be fun, uplifting and a great time for singers and attendees.

“Because this is a spring concert, it’s more of a collection of songs. All of the music selected are ‘feel good’ songs,” Crandall said. “They all just make your heart happy when you hear them. I hope that when the audience leaves, they have a smile on their face and know they’ve been in the presence of not only some great musicians, but more importantly, really great kids.”

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place on Sunday, May 14, at 3 p.m. in the PHS Auditeria.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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