Education

‘Meant to Be’ for North Gwinnett Choral Director

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As last week was North Gwinnett’s Art Appreciation Week, I decided to place the spotlight on the NGHS Chorus, which had its Fall Concert last week as well! Directed by Mrs. Brianna Greer, who was in chorus at North Gwinnett when she was in high school (Class of 2009), the North Gwinnett Chorus is composed of four classes: La Belle Musique (Introductory Women’s Choir), Men’s Chorus, Chamber Choir (Intermediate Mixed Choir), and Chorale (Advanced Women’s Choir). All of the classes, however, performed at the NGHS Chorus Fall Concert last Tuesday on October 16th.

Ever since I was a freshman, Mrs. Greer has been the director of the NGHS Chorus, and according to her, it was simply “meant to be” that she be the choral director for the same chorus that she was once a member of. Now because I had always known her as being the high school chorus director at North Gwinnett, it was never apparent to me that there was ever a period where she wasn’t intending to teach chorus at the high school level. From being able to sit down with her and interview her, I learned that while she had planned to major in music during high school, originally, Mrs. Greer had intended to be a private music teacher or a worship leader, but it was because of her experiences with collegiate choral directors and student teaching at high schools that she wanted to be a high school chorus teacher. While she had also had an interest in teaching chorus at an elementary school level, it was the variety in teaching new repertoire and sight-reading, music theory, and vocal techniques at many different skill levels that persuaded her to decide to become a high school music teacher. And in her four years of teaching at North, the NGHS Chorus has had the chance to visit New York, Disneyworld, and sing a countless number of new classical and modern songs.

As for me, I have been involved with chorus since fourth grade throughout elementary, middle, and high school, but my greatest memories of singing in a chorus have all occurred during high school–thanks to Mrs. Greer. From the little moments of daily class rehearsals to the dress rehearsals and concerts, being in chorus at North Gwinnett High School has given me an appreciation for singing that I can never forget and as a senior this year, I am not the only one.

Kensley Barry, also a senior, succinctly summarizes it as this: “I have given my blood, sweat, and tears to the choral program at North and I wouldn’t have it any other way. These four years of singing at NGHS are what transformed me into the great singer and musician I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am without Mrs. Greer and our accompanist, Kathy Gonsalves.”

Singing is an art, but chorus is more than performing songs in front of a crowd. It is being part of a group–a family–full of people who love singing, working together, and supporting each other despite differences in personality or appearance.

Pictured: (L-R) Hannah Kalter (12), Kensley Barry (12), and Andrea Coutinho (11)