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Arts and Entertainment

Festival singers lose co-director

By Ally Dellheim and Julia MacKenzie
Published: November 2010

The Festival Singers commonly known as “Festies have been a popular group since 2002. The chorus is student-run, and includes mainly sophomores, juniors and seniors who are currently enrolled in the chorus at the school, although it is open to anyone. The group meets during J-Blocks, and is an opportunity for students to receive honors chorus credits. The group meets, and rehearses songs, then performs them at elderly homes and assisted living facilities once a term.
The chorus’s conductor is senior Melanie Rucinski and the co-director was Jonathan Lee. Lee was a greatly valued member of the group, but unfortunately, he transferred to private school this year. Rucinski filled his position shortly after the start of the school year. He has been missed, and it was “difficult in the beginning, but Melanie has done a good job according to according to chorus teacher Benjamin Youngman.
Senior Rina Friedberg is the girl behind the scenes. She is in charge of attendance and finding the performance opportunities Both Friedberg and Rucinski are trying their best considering the recent loss of Lee, and they frequently receive feedback and advice from their advisor, Mr. Youngman. Mr. Youngman really values this club, because he believes it is: “a great way to share your art with the community and the world. There is no audition necessary in order to join the Festival Singers, and so many find this to be a really great opportunity for any aspiring young singers who enjoy being a positive part of the community.
They bring a bit of happiness into the lives of the elderly, or disabled people who live in these homes, and don’t usually have the opportunity to watch a live performance.
“When having a student-run chorus like this, the students participating need to be independent musicians, who come together to make their own music, Youngman said. To him independent musicianship is the goal to be pursued through choral groups.
The group has always had a lot of energy and enthusiasm, which they have displayed well throughout their many performances in past years. Although they have not yet performed this year, the Festival Singers have an upcoming performance.
On November 29th, during C and D blocks, they are going to Golden Living Center in West Newton. According to group member Alexandra Nesson, “We are all really excited! We cannot wait to give back to the community.

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