Chardon Sings Workshop
250 Chardon choir students in grade levels 5-12 participated in an in-school workshop on Oct. 4 — “Chardon Sings” — led by guest clinician Dr. Marie Bucoy-Calavan, the University of Akron’s director of choral studies. This unique learning opportunity was held at Chardon Middle School and made possible by the generosity of the Chardon Crescendo Club, the music boosters for the district’s K-12 music programs.
The University of Akron Chamber Choir was selected as one of 5 SATB (Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass) ensembles out of 175 applicants to perform at the National ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) conference in the spring of 2023.
Under the leadership of Dr. Bucoy-Calavan on Oct. 4, Chardon High School singers served as ambassadors for the district’s choir program, inspiring and collaborating with CMS choir students. The event comprised two segments — one in the morning for boys choir students and a second in the afternoon for girls choir students. In each segment, Dr. Bucoy-Calavan introduced Hilltoppers to new warmups and music to work on together as a class.
Dr. Bucoy-Calavan began by emphasizing “everything we do, we do together” set to an interactive, rhythmic clapping exercise as a warmup. She also taught about tonus — the elastic tension needed for vocalization, drawing parallels to the defensive readiness of an athlete.
The workshop was assisted by Chardon music faculty, including Mr. Streiff, Mrs. Watson and Mrs. Monarchino.
Mr. Streiff stated, “This was a great honor and we were fortunate to have Dr. Bucoy-Calavan’s leadership for our day of singing. She was a great inspiration for the day and brought wonderful energy and high standards for musicianship. A special thank you to everyone involved.”
Just prior to the start of the workshop, Jesse Decipeda, a CHS graduate ‘21 and now a music education student at The Ohio State University, spoke to Hilltopper singers, sharing his 4E’s journey-in-progress including an initial pursuit of exercise science studies followed by a later decision to redirect his focus to music education, specifically vocal education. He also discussed his CHS choir experiences and how they set the stage for his connection to singing.