Written By: Maya Rapoport
This summer, the Gunn Choir is traveling to Ireland to perform. In order to raise money for the scholarship fund, the Chamber Choir, an audition-only choir that practices after school, is performing at different venues. The choir department has an Indiegogo campaign, through which people can donate money. Ticket sales from the staff-student musical will also contribute to the scholarship fund.
Choir teacher Bill Liberatore has been teaching choir at Gunn since 1989 and enjoys that everyone contributes to the sound produced in a choir. “As big and diverse a group as we are, we share this artistic product, so it creates community in a way,” Liberatore said.“We all have something that we are all a part of and that we know we all contributed to.”
To raise money for the trip to Ireland, the Chamber singers have an outreach program in December in which they sing at senior centers, retirement homes, churches and other establishments to raise money for the scholarship fund. The choir sings a variety of songs at each event. “We have specialty Hanukkah songs, songs celebrating Christmas and we try to throw in stuff that is just winter-themed, or peace-themed, or love-themed,” Liberatore said.
Senior Claire Baker thinks that caroling is a great way to raise money for the trip. “It’s really important that anybody can go no matter how much money they have,” she said. Junior Noah Gordon hopes many people will help the choir fund the scholarships. “We still need support from lots of people to help fund scholarships so that everyone in the choir can go,” he said.
Liberatore believes that students can learn a lot from the trip, and the trip can help motivate them. “If your concert is in some amazing cathedral in Dublin, you’re going to work a lot harder,” Liberatore said. He also thinks it teaches students to be independent and gives them a sense of accomplishment.
According to Liberatore, the international choir trips also teach students to be more open and learn about different cultures. “I like busting open the way they think of the world,” Liberatore said. “Some kids don’t realize what is out there and what is possible for them.”
Baker also believes singing abroad can broaden students’ perspectives of the world. “It’s awesome to be around a different culture and see their perspectives on singing and also be able to sing in these beautiful locations,” Baker said.
Gordon believes international trips are a great experience that students will remember. “These trips [give students the opportunity] to interact with other choirs from around the globe, see exciting new places and make music with these people,” he said.
Baker also enjoys the community aspect of choir. “You have to have everybody with you in order to make a beautiful sound,” she said. Gordon enjoys being part of the Gunn choir as well. “It’s a great feeling to be able to perform with a big group,” he said.