The reason my high school experience was so wonderful was largely in part to one thing...choir.
Now I always feel I need to defend myself, because it sounds so dorky! But believe me when I say my high school had amazing choirs, and it was definitely a big deal to be a part of them. My older sister went through high school before me, and being the amazing singer she is, spent her three years performing in the choirs. After seeing her experiences I knew I wanted to be a part of it too, but I had to audition and be selected to be a part of it first.
During my second auditions for chamber choir, which were group auditions, I stood close by my best friend Lyndsey who was with me. It was during those auditions that we met two other girls from a different junior high who stood right behind us. Now these auditions can be cut throat, but I clearly remember to this day these two girls encouraging us and saying "good job" every time we had to sing. I guess it was meant to be that the four of us became best friends. Kailey, Lyndsey, Allison, and Natalie, became the KLAN. And that we were. It was also because of these three girls that my high school experience was so great. We are still good friends to this day, and I suspect we always will be. And we are still encouraging each other and cheering each other on. These girls were, and still remain my true friends.
One more person that made my high school experience so special was our choir conductor...Mr. Gnandt. I was talking with Lyndsey the other day, and looking back we thought we were so funny and cool...but really we must have just been annoying! Mr G put up with a lot, but what made him so fun was his laid back attitude....which he must have really needed! He made us work hard. I spent three years of having rehersals at lunch and after school. And because of this hard work we had amazing choirs. I was able to travel to Europe and Japan with my best friends...such amazing opportunities.
There were rumours going around that Mr G was retiring this year. So a couple of former students decided to get an alumni choir together to surprise him at his final choir concert.
About 100 plus former students showed up to rehearse, and then perform at the concert. I have to admit I felt a little old, but all of us represented 30 years of students that Mr Gnandt has influenced. It was quite amazing to see.
I thought for sure we wouldn't have been able to keep this a secret, but he and his accompanist Mrs Dyck, who is also an amazing lady, were genuinely surprised. Mr G conducted us in singing two songs, and I have to tell you for how little we rehearsed they sounded amazing.
It was such a special experience for me to be a part of this choir one last time, and to have my husband Caleb experience a little bit of what my high school experience was like. I was also able to stand next to my sister and sing with her. Something we were never able to do, because as soon as she graduated I entered high school
I will forever be grateful for the amazing experience I had, and for the best friends i don't think I would have made otherwise.
Thank you Mr G. You will be missed.
You can hear a recording here: