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Filling the gym with melodies… Elizabethton High School Choral Department presents 2021 Spring Choral Concert

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
There were no choir risers to give the appearance of a typical choral concert however that was a matter of little significance to the Elizabethton High School choral students who spaced themselves out over the floor of the John Treadway Gymnasium to meet social distancing guidelines while singing with their faces covered.

What did matter was these students were finally able to do a live performance for their family and friends and to others who joined by way of a live-streamed telecast by the Tom Taylor Sports Show.

Members of the Advanced Women’s Ensemble, Advanced Men’s Ensemble, and Combined Ensemble performed a 45-minute concert for approximately 600 people who gathered for the limited seated concert.

Those who were in attendance along with those watching were treated to another tremendous performance by Mrs. Debbie Gouge’s EHS Choral students.

“It’s just like every team that lost its season last year — we are just so happy to be back and have live people watching us and also having this opportunity to live stream,” said Mrs. Gouge.

“And the depth of knowledge that these kids have gotten having to be dependent on their own inner ear. Did you notice I didn’t have to give anybody a pitch — they already knew. They practiced enough that what we have learned they have learned really deeply so they are able to sing musically and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The Combined Ensembles opened the concert with the processional ‘Love is Love is Love is Love’ which was a song dedicated to the victims and survivors and specifically for those at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.

Also, ‘Let the River Run’ and ‘Erev Shel Shoshanim’ were performed by the Combined Ensemble.

Senior members of the Advanced Women’s Ensemble were the featured soloists on the piece ‘One Voice’ performed by the Advanced Women’s Ensemble.

Recognition was also given to the members of the EHS Class of 2021, the All-East Chorus 2020-2021, and All-State Chorus 2021. Jaden Lowe was recognized from the Class of 2020 for being named to the All-State Chorus as well.

The Men’s Ensemble took the floor and performed ‘When Jesus Wept’, ‘Be Thou My Vision’, and ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’ featuring soloist Carson Peters.

To close out the concert, the Combined Ensembles came back together to perform the pieces ‘In Paradisum’, ‘The Storm is Passing Over’, and ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’.

Mrs. Gouge was asked how timely it was to share the piece ‘The Storm is Passing Over’ especially with the past few months dealing with COVID-19.

“We talked the whole time about taking courage — there are better times ahead,” Mrs. Gouge stated. “We can’t make a permanent decision on something that’s temporary so we have got our goals set of what is going to happen and we are very hopeful that we can go back to our new normal as soon as possible.”

The long-time musical instructor was asked to describe how proud of her students she was for what they had just accomplished.

“I don’t have a word to fit it in there unless you have an extra hour. I am really proud of every one of them — every single one of them contributed. We couldn’t have made it any harder on them in my book and they still performed at an elevated level,” she shared.