continued “We (teachers) have a lot of fun and the kids see that,” Shapiro said. “They realize you can work hard and still have fun.”
The Ti High music program involves nearly 100 students in the chorus, band, Sentinel Big Band (jazz), Night Shadows make choir and Trebled Voices female choir. Many are in multiple groups.
When Shapiro arrived in Ticonderoga 35 years ago there were nine girls in the chorus and 15 band members.
This holiday season Ti student musicians had four performances — the annual community Tiny Tim concert, the Kiwanis senior citizen holiday party, a visit to Heritage Commons nursing home and the annual school concert — in two weeks. That flurry of activities capped four months of rehearsals. Students also held a fruit sale that will help finance a trip to see a Broadway play and a United Nations visit this spring.
“We work hard, but we laugh a lot, too,” Shapiro said of the hectic pace. “Our rehearsals are always upbeat and there’s a sense of collaborative warmth. Ticonderoga has great kids. We prove it everyday.”
Ticonderoga’s musicians have a lot to say about their program. Shapiro regularly solicits student opinions as they prepare for a performance.
Costello is the director of the Trebled Voices. Its members make all decisions about the music, solos, arrangements and more.
“It’s not always easy, but we talk and decide as a group,” Costello said of Trebled Voices. “We usually end up voting on songs we’d like to sing.”
Crowe said the Night Shadows has a special surprise for the annual pops concert this spring. It’s rumored the all-male choir will perform a version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
“All I can say is that’s going to be a lot of fun,” Crowe smiled.
The Ti students enjoy almost everything about the music program, but they admit performing is special.