The Archbold High School has plenty of which to be proud, and their music program is at the top of the list. Anyone who has seen any of their musical productions can attest to the level of excellence that is vested in every performance.
It is a fact of life that every school will lose gifted students to the attrition of graduation. Archbold High School experiences the same thing like every other school, but Vocal Music Director Kent Vandock has developed a way to hold onto his gifted graduates. On the afternoon of December 18, his efforts were put on display through the second annual Archbold Alumni Choir concert in the school auditorium.
Despite a sparse turnout for the event, there were none in attendance who left the facility in the least bit disappointed. In keeping with the alumni theme, Mr. Vandock shared the director’s podium with former director, Mr. Thom Singer, who is currently teaching at Defiance High School.
The first selection of the afternoon was the Edward Jurey arrangement of the Saint-Seans Christmas Oratorio, “Praise Ye the Lord of Hosts”.
Under the direction of Mr. Singer, the choir turned in an exceptional performance of the piece. The second selection proved to be what may have been the most moving performances of the set as the choir, under the direction of Mr. Vandock, performed the Gustav Nordqvist work, “Wonderful Peace.” Performed in true acapella format, the dynamic balance of each part was so strikingly accurate, the audience remained in stunned silence for nearly five seconds after the completion of the piece before giving strong applause.
Next on the agenda was a moving interpretation of the Harry Simeone arrangement of the Christmas classic, “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Breaking up the tenor of the concert, Mr. Vandock returned to the director’s platform as the choir swung David Davenport’s “Born, Born in Bethlehem.” The choir again returned to the quieter pace, as Mr. Singer led the choir in a beautiful performance of the “Candlelight Carol” by John Rutter, after which came a most familiar finale in the form of “Hallelujah!” from George Frideric Handel’s immortal oratorio, “Messiah”.
The overall performance of the choir on this afternoon displayed a dedication to excellence that can only be achieved through well-honed talent, under dynamic direction. Those who were in attendance might be somewhat surprised to know that the performance for which they were most fortunate to take in, was accomplished with a practice time of around four hours. No need to check the spelling. Four hours…not the forty that it sounded like.
That is just one of the reasons as to why the community of Archbold, Ohio, can hold great pride in the music department of their school.
Timothy Kays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org