More than 75 students from North and South gathered together on the evening of March 6, 2012. When the opening bell sounded, there was no athletic competition to be found. Instead, when the opening tone resonated, there was artistic collaboration - in abundance.
Initiated over 20 years ago, the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital showcases the finest vocal musicians in District 99 in an annual collaborative performance. "This event symbolizes what is best in District 99." said South High School Fine Arts Department Chairman Glenn Williams. "It is collaborative, it is predicated on excellence, and it is all about students."
Leading up to this recital, both South and North High Schools hold independent vocal festivals. These festivals, held during the school day, are adjudicated by professional musicians and teachers from outside of District 99. The expert panel of adjudicators provide each student performing event with immediate formative feedback, and, with a score based on the quality of their performance. Each school then holds a run-off competition, where the best events are selected by the panel of adjudicators to perform on the District 99 Honors Vocal Recital. In total, more than 150 chamber music events are adjudicated during the Vocal Festivals at North and South High Schools.
In addition to the District 99 team of teachers working with the student musicians, a superior staff of private voice teachers coach and accompany the student singers through the performance preparation process at both South and North High Schools. These teachers are integral to the student success manifested during this recital.
"Solo singing is the highest level of performance." said North High School Fine Arts Department Chairperson Brayer Teague. "We strive for all of our students to aspire to this level of performance excellence." Once this recital is experienced as a listener, it is clear that the ability to sing with excellence alone and in small groups demonstrates performance mastery better than any other assessment.