Submitted by North Thurston Public Schools
River Ridge High School held its spring music choir concert Tuesday, June 6 at River Ridge High School. The concert featured performances by the symphonic choir a mixed choir and a combined choir, along with several duets.
River Ridge choral head teacher Austin Schlichting, was pleased with the performances. “It was a great way to end the year and I have a new set of students including a fantastic junior class to build off moving forward,” Schlichting remarked. “Our only choir senior, Jaime [Robinson], has been in choir all four years of high school. She is one of the most talented and focused students that I have ever taught and it was bittersweet as she ended her career.”
A challenge for many high schools has been rebuilding programs after COVID-19. “We had around 52 in the program before coronavirus, so we are trying to rebuild a core moving forward,” Schlichting noted. “This year I saw many juniors sign up for choir who I had not interacted with during their freshman and sophomore years. I have to remind myself that our juniors this year ended their eighth-grade year at the beginning of 2020 and spent their freshman year primarily online. Coming back to live performance and daily in-person interaction is fundamental for these students.”
A highlight for the 2022-23 River Ridge choir program was that five students auditioned for All-State/All-Northwest in Bellevue and all were accepted. Senior Jamie Robinson was selected as a Soprano 1 for the All-Northwest Treble Choir.
“I truly want to see my students succeed, I’m willing to meet them where they are at,” shared Schlichting. “To truly master a craft, you need this formula: A little new and a lot of review. I’m excited for River Ridge Choir and the upcoming years.”