By Sarah Smith
Viva Loudoun High School Intern
(Oct. 29, 2013) – Illumination is defined as brightening up with light or enlightening with knowledge. In this case, Illumination is a medley of voices blending together; a choral concert.
On October 30, the Stone Bridge High School choral department will present its fall concert “Illumination,” at 7:15 p.m. in the auditorium.
This is the choir’s annual fall fundraising concert, silent auction and dinner. There will be a preview of the auction items at 5:45 p.m., and dinner and dessert will start at 6 p.m. Auction winners will be announced after the concert has concluded.
This is the choral department’s largest fundraiser of the year, featuring a dinner catered by Rubinos and performances from each of the six choirs. There will also be a 50/50 raffle ticket sale.
Students began their fundraising before the doors to the concert opened, holding a fundraiser at Zinga and one at Subway on October 21. The jazz choir performed at Zinga, and the department earned 15 percent of the profit.
“The money from this concert and from the earlier fundraisers goes to benefit the choral department,” senior Sukanya Maulik said. “It’s the only ticketed concert we have all year.”
Those interested in going can preorder tickets for $5, or purchase a dinner and ticket combo for $15.
“We would love to have the school support us by joining us at the concert,” choir president and senior Caroline Ratliff said.
The choral department is broken into six choirs: jazz choir, treble choir, concert choir, 745 chorale, men’s choir, and varsity men’s choir.
All of the songs performed at the fall concert will be centered on the theme, “Illumination.” The combined choir will be performing the song, “One Voice.” Some of the other choirs will be singing, “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” and “Shine, Shine, Shine.”
“The songs that the choirs will be singing are all coming from a variety of genres, and are centered on the theme ‘Illumination,’” Ratliff said. “Whether that means seeing light physically or being enlightened is up to the audience to decide. Mrs. Settle was a ‘wordy’ person and chose concerts centered on words that inspired her, so Mr. Cockrell decided to do the same thing this year, choosing from a list of words that Ms. Settle suggested.”
This year the choral department is under the direction of Glenn Cockrell, a new addition to the music department. He is filling in for Deborah Settle while she takes a leave of absence for a year due to an illness.
“We are doing our best to support the department and keep people involved in the amazing department Ms. Settle had in place,” Ratliff said. “Mr. Cockrell is an amazing director and he has brought so many new skills to us and it has been great to learn new things.”
Mr. Cockrell was a teacher at Chantilly High School in Fairfax County for 26 years before he retired and started his own music business. Then, he got the call to help at Stone Bridge, filling in for Ms. Settle.
“I am really glad I could help out here,” Cockrell said. “Many things are similar to when I was teaching before, but now I’m coming into a well-established music program with lots of traditions in place. It’s really great getting to work with these students and the administration here. It’s a solid program to be a part of.”
Joining Cockrell on the leadership team are seniors Caroline Ratliff and Thomas Fairholm, the co-presidents of the choir department.
“As choir president, it’s my job to help the department in any way I can,” Fairholm said. “This year has brought new challenges but also new opportunities. I want to build unity and emphasize that choir is a family.”
However the audience members choose to interpret “Illumination,” the concert will kick off a year of performances for the choral department, hopefully lighting the way to a great year.
“This concert will be my first time with these kids,” Cockrell said. “I’m really excited to see how these students perform and for the audience to see how these groups pull the theme together.”
Sarah Smith is a junior at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn