Thanks to Glen Richey for serving as photographer at the rehearsal, dinner, and concert!
Rehearsal files for most of the selections on the Alumni Reunion Concert have been added to this site. When available, a quality performance of the piece is posted, as well as full parts, and individual vocal lines. A few more files need to be made and will be added within the next week, but this should give singers a good start on music preparation.
To save files to your desktop, right click, or ctrl+click, or command+click and select "save as" to save to your machine. Or just click on the file to listen to it on the site.
Files are posted on the "Music Practice Files" page under the "Alumni Choir 2014" side menu tab, or by clicking here.
Music packets are being sent out from Musik Innovations this week to all who have registered online. The letter included in the packet is linked below.
Individual practice files as well as full performances of as many of the songs as possible will be posted on this site by the end of the weekend. We hope that this helps you in learning parts as best you can prior to the full group rehearsal on October 4th.
Additionally, an email will be sent later this week to all registered with more specific details about the reunion. Make sure to check spam folders in the even that you do not receive the email by this weekend.
As of September 3rd, we have 80 alumni registered plus the 24-member North Hills Singers ensemble, so we are over 100 voices strong for the concert! It should prove to be a wonderful event. Keep checking this site for updates as we get closer to the event.
The following article was featured in the McKnight Journal on August 28, 2014 and was written by Laurie Rees, a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
North Hills School District to hold first alumni choir reunion
The long and celebrated tradition of the North Hills School District's choral program will be on display Oct. 3 and 4 as the district holds its first high school alumni choir reunion and concert.
Members of high school choirs dating from 1958 to the present are encouraged to participate, and the public is invited to the free concert.
“It'll be a time for folks to reconnect and continue the great tradition of choir music at North Hills. We'll honor the history that has brought us to where we are now,” said North Hills choral director and music teacher Shaun Cloonan, 35, of Churchill.
Alumni festivities begin the evening of Oct. 3 and will include a meet-and-greet session, a time to pore over memorabilia, and a tour of the middle school and high school on Oct. 4.
A rehearsal will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 4, with a sit-down dinner afterward.
The concert, to be held at 7 p.m. at North Hills High School, 53 Rochester Road in Ross Township, will include music in a variety of styles and selections from each decade, Cloonan said.
Concert selections were suggested by organizers and alumni who committed early. They picked favorite pieces from their time at North Hills. The goal was to create a varied program that will pay tribute to the choirs of past directors Alice Conner, Frank Cummings, Greg Gyllsdorf, Susan McKinney and Harriet Valliant.
A group of choral alumni who honored longtime choral director Frank Cummings for his 85th birthday in April came up with the idea for an alumni choir reunion. Nearly 30 of his former students, spanning 20 years, prepared a short performance and shared memories with him at the Coraopolis nursing facility where he lives.
“Anyone who sang under him loved him. He took jocks, nerds, grease monkeys and ballerinas and turned them into the best choruses in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Emma Lee Reed Hartle, a 1970 graduate.
Hartle, 62, of Hampton Township, said Cummings' choirs received a multitude of awards during his tenure at the high school from 1963 to 1983. Those same alumni contacted Cloonan to express an interest in a larger, more formal reunion.
Using the school district website, emails, Facebook, phone calls, printed mailers and word of mouth, Cloonan is trying to reach about 1,700 choir alumni who have graduated from the North Hills program since the district's start in 1958.
To date, 50 alumni from as far away as New Mexico have committed to participate.
This year's 26-member North Hills High School Singers ensemble also will take part.
Valliant, 58, of Ross, was North Hills' choral director from 1988 to 2011. As a North Hills student, she sang in the choir under Cummings, and he inspired her to pursue a career in music education after she graduated in 1973.
Valliant is excited to participate in the reunion and concert.
“It'll be nice to see my high school friends again. And it'll be exciting to have my former students come back. A couple of the songs I sang as a student and led as a director will be sung in the upcoming concert,” she said.
Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yournorthhills/yournorthhillsmore/6648685-74/alumni-north-hills#ixzz3BoctRf5O
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Plans are coming along for the October 4th reunion and concert. Retired director Harriet Valliant and current director Shaun Cloonan met to select the program based off of suggestions from the registered participants. Music will be ordered in the next few weeks with hopes of sending packets out by the second week of September. Practice tracks for each voice part as well as YouTube performances (when available) will be posted on this site so that participants may become familiar with the music ahead of time.
Friday reception plans and Saturday dinner plans will be finalized in the next 2 weeks, which will most likely result in a $25 registration fee that will need to be collected from participants to cover the cost of the meal. Music packets are being paid for from the Choral Parents Association/choir activity account. Participants may keep the music or return it after the concert to be donated to the NHHS choral library.
As of now, the program selected (not completely finalized yet) is as follows:
"Sing We and Chant It" by Thomas Morley (madrigal)
"Hallelujah" from Messiah by G. F. Handel
"Song of Democracy" by Howard Hanson
"The Water is Wide" folk song for 3-part women's voices
"River in Judea" by John Leavitt (gospel style)
"Elijah Rock" arranged by Jester Hairston (spiritual)
"Day by Day" from Godspell
The North Hills Alma Mater by Linda Naumann
The program represents as close as possible favorites representing singers from each decade in the North Hills choral program from the 1950s to today. Cloonan and Valliant will share the podium, taking turns conducting pieces, and singing with the group on the pieces they aren't directing.
With the number of participants, as of now, the concert will be held at the high school. If another 40 or more register, we will likely have to move to the middle school auditorium.
The schedule remains as it was planned earlier:
Reception at a local restaurant for those who would like to socialize ahead of time and for those traveling in.
10:00AM Tours of the 2 buildings on the hilltop campus.
Lunch on your own
12:30-1:00PM Check-in (high school auditorium lobby)
1:00-4:00PM Rehearsal (right now in the high school choir room/auditorium)
4:30-6:00PM Dinner (location TBD)
6:30PM Warm-up & line-up
7:00PM Concert (high school auditorium tentatively)
As more details are finalized, they will be published on this page. Check back often. An official welcome letter will also be sent out in the next 2 weeks with most of these details.
Details are in the beginning stages of planning, but as of now, the intent is to create a mini-reunion weekend with a time to share memories and also make music together. The very tentative schedule would be as follows (with input appreciated):
Friday, October 3
For anyone who may be traveling in and would like to have a less formal social gathering, we would reserve a room at an area restaurant/bar, such as Seib's Pub. The NH Choir would foot the bill for some appetizers; drinks and additional food items would be on your own. This would likely happen around 7:00-10:00PM.
Saturday, October 4
Morning (probably 10AM) - tours of both buildings on campus led by current choir members for those interested. As the building that is now a middle school was at one time the high school, some folks may like to see how it has changed. Some renovations to the building are scheduled for this summer, including new flooring in the hallways and air conditioning. A tour of the high school building will also take place -- some may not have seen the choir room since it's relocation to the end of the hall after the renovation in 2007.
Lunch on your own
1:00-4:00PM Alumni Choir Rehearsal - location will depend on the response. If we are over 150 singers, we will meet in the middle school as the stage is larger and will more comfortably accommodate us. Less than 150 and we should fit in the high school.
4:30-6:30PM Catered Dinner - location could be the school cafeteria, or it could also take place off-site at a place such as the Holiday Inn McKnight Road, MonteCello's, etc.. A cost per plate would likely be associated with this meal, and guests/spouses/families would be invited to attend as well.
7:00PM Line-up and warm-up for concert, group photo taken
7:30PM Alumni Choir Concert, featuring music representing choirs of the Frank Cummings, Sue McKinney, Harriet Valliant, and current group. The auditioned North Hills Singers group would also perform a set as part of the program. Of course, the conclusion would be the North Hills Alma Mater. The concert would be free and open to the public. A recording would be made available for sale to all singers and their families.
North Hills School District will hold its first Alumni Choir Reunion and Concert on Oct. 4 welcoming back singers from throughout the decades for the special event.
All former members of the North Hills High School choirs are invited to attend the event this fall. Singers will participate in special activities including building tours and memorabilia sharing throughout the day and come together to prepare choral selections for an evening public concert that will mark their return to the North Hills stage.
The event was inspired by a recent gathering of choral alumni who organized themselves to honor long-time choral director Cummings’ 85th birthday. Nearly 30 of Cummings’ former students prepared a short performance and shared memories with him at his nursing facility. Choral alumni contacted Cloonan expressing interest in a larger, more formal reunion, and plans were set in motion.
For questions or comments, contact NHHS Choral Director Shaun Cloonan at email@example.com
Also, join the "North Hills Alumni Choir" Facebook group. Lots of great discussion is happening there!