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West Valley City Journal

Cyprus High School choir sings its way to gold

May 30, 2022 06:17PM ● By Liz Craker

By Liz Craker | [email protected]

Cyprus High School’s tour choir earned a gold ranking in the show choir category at the Anaheim Heritage Festival in California in early April, competing against schools from California, Arizona, Utah and Montana. Students Adelle Oates and Linkin Petersen received the Maestro Award for their choreography.

“We took 41 students during our spring break the week of April 6,” Christopher Rose, Cyprus High School vocal music teacher, said. Rose added that the choir was the combination of the Magna High School’s madrigal and show choirs.

“I did not expect to get a gold ranking as this was my first experience with students competing in this festival. It was a surprising and welcome achievement for us. The students were amazed,” Rose said.

Students had to compete in less-than-ideal conditions which made the gold ranking even more special to the choir. “Due to complications with the venue, at the last minute the students had to perform outside on a soccer court in the heat and sun. We had holiday travel and had to adjust to performing in a different venue. We even had to bring our own equipment,” he said.

“Once we decided to compete and began raising the money to go, we started to rehearse four days a week after school to learn the music and choreography,” he said. The choir coordinated group fundraisers to ease the economic burden on the students’ families and to make the trip financially achievable for them.

The students also often had conflicting schedules with spring sports and other activities so Rose used his music technology skills to prepare the students. Rose has a master’s in music technology from Southern Utah University geared toward education, and he said that he uses a lot of that technology in his classes. “I made rehearsal tracks as well as recorded choreography so they could learn at home even if their schedules conflicted with our rehearsals,” he said.

The festival included the national music festival performance, an awards ceremony at Disneyland as well as a Disneyland Park visit. Rose said that for some of his students this was their first time to travel outside of Utah and see the ocean.

As part of their continued fundraising efforts, the choirs Spring Concert and fundraiser dinner will be on Thursday, May 19. Dinner service will start at 5 p.m. in the Cyprus cafeteria and tickets are $15 per person, including admission to the concert. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the Cyprus main auditorium and tickets are $5 per person at the door. A silent auction and raffle will be available for all who attend this event. See their website\cypruschoirs to purchase tickets.

Rose also teaches freshman success classes in a program to help freshmen become acclimated to high school, and Music 1010, a class that allows students to earn credits through Salt Lake Community College while still in high school.