The Power of Music

Jonathon Hoch '16, Staff Writer

The Cherry Hill West Vocal Department, one of the most prominent programs at West, is at its peak, in terms of performance, hard work ethic and passion. This year, I can truly feel the love for singing that all of the vocal students share. Many of my lifelong friends who graduated this past June, were my original inspiration to join the vocal department my junior year. They got me interested in music and inspired me to include concert choir in my schedule. While waiting for the new school year, I dreamt of finally being able to witness the magic present within the vocal department.

When I walked into the vocal room on the first day of my junior year, I was immediately taken aback by the welcoming, pearly-white smile of Ms. Siegel, who wasted no time in welcoming me. She excitedly asked my classmates and me about our summers. After that, she dived into the curriculum and explained to us the importance of proper posture and breathing techniques. Within the first fifteen minutes of class I was already learning so much about my new passion.

The entire musical program is under the tutelage of two incredible directors, Ms. Siegel and Mr. Cooper. These genuine and passionate directors are able to combine a love for singing with a talent for teaching. Mr. Cooper, a West alumnus, was a member of Men of Note, West Singers and Chamber Singers during his time here at West. After graduating, Mr. Cooper went on to study at The University Of Delaware, which coincidentally led him back to a job at West where he now directs and teaches. Mr. Cooper has taken over the job of Mr. Flowers, who left West last year. After a spectacular four years here at West, Mr. Flowers has ventured out to discover different musical opportunities in the world.

Though the year is just barely underway, I have high hopes for the entire vocal department to achieve and succeed more than they have in years before. I anticipate great success not only in the music trip competition, but also in everyday practices. When the entire choir is together, the program is virtually unstoppable. The vocal department’s musical talent is head-turning and spectacular. The choir is a family that never splits or breaks, but instead grows in both wisdom and skill.

Being in West Singers myself, I can honestly say that both my teachers and fellow musicians have positively influenced my life in a way I never would have thought. As a result of joining the vocal program, I’ve gained more confidence in my musical and speaking abilities. I’ve also been able to trek through hard times more easily than I would have in the past. I’ve met some of my best friends and have matured vocally in the place I call my second home. As I enter my final year here at West and take the stage one final time, I am more than excited to sing with my friends, new and old. I will take advantage of any new vocal opportunities that come my way which I hope will help the choir as a whole. The talent present within the vocal music program has so much potential to reach great heights this year. Good luck to everyone on their singing journey!