Pine Grove Middle School students participated in the New York State Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association Middle School Honors Choir August 19. From left are (front row) conductor Francisco Núñez, Pine Grove choral teacher Aimee deBerjeois, Mary Kate Deeb, Zackary Worden and Summer Cardarelli; (middle row) Kelsey Hall, Katie Lindsley, Kat Abrams and Helaina Brundage; and (back row) Anson Cheng, Conor Harrigan and Martin Campbell.
continued Students were selected for the choir after Mrs. deBerjeois wrote recommendations pertaining to each student’s vocal ability, musicianship, maturity, focus and discipline. Students practiced at Pine Grove throughout the summer before going to Albany.
Mr. Núñez is a recipient of a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his extraordinary originality and dedication to his creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.
“This was evident in his interpretation and creative performance at ACDA,” deBerjeois said. “The choristers performed with meringue steps, pop choreography and an indoor rainforest. The entire chorus worked together and used various vocal bird sounds and body percussion to create a peaceful rainforest. The concert ended perfectly with a confident, expressive, middle school chorus surrounding the audience singing ‘Can You Hear,’ a piece written by Francisco Núñez that empowers the words and ideas children have to offer the adults in their world.”
Marcia Kelley is school information officer for ESM Schools.