Parkrose High choirs resonate for risers

How about “they sing for stands”? Take a look, and you’ll see why choir members are working hard to get new performance equipment …

The Parkrose High “A-Choir” performs at a special fund-raising concert at Parkrose United Methodist Church.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After 35 years of use, the risers – the stands used by the choir – at Parkrose High School were carted out to the dump just a few weeks ago.

“After taking a long look at our old risers, and choral shell,” said choir and voice instructor Lesley Ann Bossert, “We all agreed they had to go. It was getting to the point where safety might be an issue.”

With that in mind, the choir has taken on a new project: Replacing this much-needed equipment. The risers allow singers to stand in rows, each higher than the last. The choral shell helps the singers’ voices project.

Standing on the far left, Kiet Tran leads a men’s ensemble at the Parkrose fundraising concert.

May concert features jazz
Their concert on May 18 took place at Parkrose United Methodist Church, and featured the big band sounds of Jazz Express.

This program also featured the Parkrose High School “A-Choir”. And, Parkrose High student Kiet Tran’s senior project – a men’s ensemble – also performed.

June Awards Concert

“A-Choir” member Jason McGhee gets a wardrobe adjustment by choir director Lesley Bossert.

One of the highlights of the past year, that choir director Lesley Bossert shared with the audience, was the Debonairs’ experience of participating in their first jazz festival – along with a bass and percussion player.

Bossert talked about the high scores the choirs made in competition, and complemented the student musicians who qualified at the State competitions.

We can’t let you hear their wonderful music – but we can share photos of these talented students with you!

The Treble Choir was up first. They sang “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Ain’t That News”, “Danny Boy” and finished up with an energetic presentation of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. By the way, they’re standing on borrowed risers!

Under the direction of Parkrose High’s choir director, Lesley Bossert, many outer East Portland students have gained solid musical skills.

The Debonaires perform – with their combo – the songs “Turnaround”, “Lullaby on the Hudson” and “Down St. Thomas Way”.

The Concert Choir showed a wide range of musical skills as they performed “Song of the Sea”, “A Canon of Praise” and a toe-tapping medley: “Disney Dazzle”.

The renowned “A-Choir” performs “Arroz Con Leche”, Bogorodiste Devo”, and “Thoroughly Modern Millie”.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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