Men’s Chorus Engage in Challenging Music for State Choral Assessment


Laura Lazarevich, FHS’ choir director, and Men’s Chorus celebrate after winning second place at the BRING IT! competition.

Dana Baker

Freedom High School’s Men’s Chorus is a diverse group of musicians that bring a sense of family and a challenging musical education to the classroom.

Even though there are 23 members of the chorus now, when director Laura Lazarevich took over the ensemble three years ago, there were only four. The biggest challenge for the ensemble this year, she says, is the difficulty of the music they are taking to State Choral Assessment.

“We’re taking level four music to State Choral Assessment, and this is the first time I’ve taken a men’s chorus with anything above a three, so it’s certainly a new challenge,” Lavarevich said.

With six different levels of music, six being the highest, the difficulty of their pieces challenges and engages them.

Sophomore Ethan Van Slyke said that the challenge of singing with an ensemble has greatly improved his musical ability and his connections with the group as a whole.

“Anyone can be a ‘singer’ and sing a song in the shower and say, ‘Oh I sing,’” Van Slyke said. “But then there’s a person who goes, ‘Oh, I sing with a class, a group.’”

Freshman Gideon Osei has participated in chorus for several years and says that their humor is one of the best aspects of the group. He says his wit and humor “wake[s] everyone up” and keep the group energetic in their early rehearsals.

Senior and co-president of the Chorus department Nick Hemstreet says that chorus is something he always looks forward to.

“We always have a good time in Men’s Chorus,” Hemstreet said. “It always brightens my morning; if I’m having a bad day, or if I’m tired, it wakes me up.”

Van Slyke believes music and the fine arts can have a large impact on not only a person’s mood, but as an individual, too.

“Even if you don’t take a class, if you’re walking down the hall, playing your music in your ears, that’s who you are,” Van Slyke said.

Junior Josh Lee is very passionate about the the fine arts receiving the same credit and recognition that athletes are given.

“In sports there’s always a winner or loser,” Lee said. “In arts, unless you’re actually competing in a competition, everyone’s a winner. It’s your interpretation. There’s not a ‘you lose,’ per say.”

“It’s normal to see a football game, but it isn’t as normal to go see a show or production,” Hemstreet said.

Osei encourages rising freshmen and interested high schoolers to give chorus a try, even if they have not before, as does the rest of the group.

“All rising freshmen should do as many things as they can here. It’s only four years. I’d rather do something and hate it than not do it and regret it,” Hemstreet added.