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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Park resurrects the aughts in choir concert

End of the year performance is all about 2000s
Junior+Ava+Monroe+sings%2C+Dont+Know+Why+by+Nora+Jones.+The+choir+pops+concert+was+on+May+29.
Kayleigh Bishop
Junior Ava Monroe sings, “Don’t Know Why” by Nora Jones. The choir “pops” concert was on May 29.

Park’s choir performed its annual end-of-the-year concert and senior recital May 29. Being a POPS concert (a themed concert filled with pop culture music), the songs featured were from the 2000s. The concert served to finish off the 2023-24 school year. There was also a senior recital featuring solos and duets from graduating seniors.

Sophomore Audrey Tuite, who performed a solo, said despite the busyness of the choir’s schedule this year, the concert was an opportunity to have fun with various songs. Due to a two-week cross country trip that led Park choir to sing at Carnegie Hall in May, it wasn’t a certainty that the singers could quickly reorient to the final concert.

“Every year we do a decade’s concert, and this year was the 2000s, which was really exciting because we learned a lot of new pop songs and different genres,” Tuite said. “We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for it—we were really busy this spring because of the trip to New York and contests.”

Junior John Miller, who performed a solo and duet, said planning and practicing things like dancing, harmonizing, and memorizing melodic material plays a big role in how a concert is perceived by audiences.

“The most important aspect of a successful performance is the readiness and preparation that everyone went through for this concert to happen,” Miller said.

The 2000s theme songs hit the mark, said choir director John Myszkowski. He said the kids had a great time performing each one.

“The 2000s POPs concert was super fun — it was longer than expected for practicality reasons,” Myszkowski said. “The kids were super enthusiastic, and the songs were very fun, especially Mr. Brightside and Poker Face they loved doing. The song that they picked for the group was a nerd-out choir song, but they did a fabulous job.”

Tuite said the concert stood out for its lively choreography and the chance for stunning moments of independent senior performances. Recitals can showcase the evolution of students’ confidence and stage presence throughout their experience participating in choir.

“This concert stands out from the rest, because it gives the opportunity to do solos and duets and to really take the moment to get more confidence to sing in front of people,” she said. “This concert comes with fun choreography and sometimes funny moments unlike some other concerts.”

Myszkowski said rehearsals for seniors’ solos were both a cooperative and student-led effort, even though many students were self-sufficient in developing their recitals. Soloists have a high degree of freedom in selecting and conceptualizing their particular song.

“The seniors get a chance to pick (their song)—they all have to audition so it is not guaranteed—and they have to sing in front of the class,” Myszkowski said. “They work with Ms. Scherer, the accompanist, quite a bit, and then several of them have private lessons with me, but a lot of them did the majority of their work on their own.”

Tuite said she wants people who watched the concert to understand the work choir students put into the preparation of the concert as the school year comes to a close. Emotions were shown on stage as the concert concluded.

“I hope the audience takes away that we worked really hard on this, and (that) everyone that went up and did solos took a lot of time to prepare,” Tuite said. “During the awards after the seniors concert, we all witnessed Mr. Myszkowski cry, which is such a rare scene, and I hope people see all the work that the seniors and everyone put into the choir.”

Miller said he wishes everyone who saw the concert was excited as much as the choir was in pulling it off. Park choir had only less than a month to practice dancing and singing for the concert as a group of classes.

“I hope the audience overall enjoys the concert, because it was a very fun one,” Miller said.

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Kalsang Wangmo
Kalsang Wangmo, Echo Staffer
Hi, My name is Kalsang. I’m a sophomore and this is my first year on Echo. When I'm not writing for Echo I like playing sports, I play basketball and do track. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and listening to music. I also enjoy deep woods hiking.  
Nicholas Garrett
Nicholas Garrett, Copy Editor
I’m Nicholas, and I’m a junior. I love to write, read, and practice storytelling in my free time. I also love journalism and anything really to do with literature. My aspiration is to leave college with the tools to become a professional writer and news reporter.  
Kayleigh Bishop
Kayleigh Bishop, Copy Editor
Hi! My name is Kayleigh and I am a sophomore. This is my first year of Echo, and when I’m not writing I am busy being part of the golf and tennis team. I love hanging out with friends, skiing, playing cards and listening to music. You can usually catch me playing Taylor Swift or Zach Bryan. I am really excited to be a part of Echo this year! 

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