The Student News Site of South Lyon East High School

Beast News

The Student News Site of South Lyon East High School

Beast News

The Student News Site of South Lyon East High School

Beast News

East Choirs’ Reach Excellency, Prepare for Spring Happenings

Choir students pose with pictures of accompanist at choir festival held on Thursday, March 22 at Walled Lake Northern High School. Photo taken by Darrel Middaugh,

The combined East choirs attended choral festival on Thursday, March 22. All choirs received one’s, an excellent score.

Cougar Chorale, the beginner male and female choir, achieved a score of 114/120. While both Bel Canto, the all female choir, and East Vocal Ensemble (EVE), the advanced male and female choir, achieved a score of 116/120.

The Cougar Chorale students started their day off early Thursday morning getting in their uniforms and hopping on a bus traveling to Walled Lake Northern High School. Bel Canto and EVE headed out after the end of the school day. Upon arriving at Walled Lake Northern, choir students went straight into the warm up room.

Stephanie Bobo, EVE member,  described the room as, “a tiny area with risers and a piano.”  Bobo then explained, “We then receive five minutes to practice our two pieces before we are ushered to the stage to perform.”

“While on stage all choirs are graded on the six element categories: tone, pitch, rhythm, diction, interpretation, and presentation,” said senior choir student Sarah Liskey.

Each category is given a certain amount of points, the lowest amount of points being a one and the greatest amount being a five. All choirs work to achieve five points in all six categories from all five judges.

The choir students prepare two pieces. One has to be on the approved list of choral festival music and the other is based off of the directors choice. These pieces are supposed to express the students growth since the beginning of the year said Bri Drahms, a junior in the Bel Canto choir.

Once the students have successfully performed their pieces, they properly exit the stage and are ushered into another practice room where the clinician, one of the judges (whose scores don’t count towards the total score), meets with the students for ten minutes, telling them what they can improve on. The clinician works with the choir individually giving them improvement tips they should enact if the choir wishes to attend states.

Students finish up with then the clinician then head to the sight reading room.

“We are given sheet music we don’t know and asked to read it,” said Bobo. The singers are judged, by one individual, on how well they can read and perform the piece that have never seen.

Once the students have completed sight reading they head back to the bus and make there way back to the school awaiting their scores. Here is a breakdown of how the scoring works.


1-Excellent: 96-120 total from all  four judges

2-Good: 72-95 total from all four judges

3-Fair: 46-71 total from all four judges

4-Poor: 24-45 total from all four judges


Though the scoring isn’t what means the most to some of the students.

Drahms enjoyed being able to laugh, hang out, and perform with friends not only in her own choir, but also other choirs is very rewarding.

The choirs will not be attending states this year, even though all choirs received high enough scores to attend states.

“With limited time and the need to learn at least one new song, the choirs don’t have enough time to produce their best work for the state judges,” said Bobo.

The choirs’ next upcoming event is the East Variety Show, where students audition with an act of their choice, and if they get selected they perform at the show. Auditions were held on Monday April 16 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the choir room, and the actual Variety Show will be, Thursday May 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium.

Also, with graduation creeping up on the students, the choir will be holding auditions for graduation solos and duets in the choir room on Tuesday May 1 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

“If students wish to audition they need to be sure to know their pieces beforehand,” said choir director Darrel Middaugh.

The choir also hopes to see the public at their final spring concert that takes place on May 23 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the SLE auditorium, where the choirs dedicate goodbyes to the seniors. 


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