Choir performs at first concert

With the new utilization of solfege, students sing at their first choir concert on Thursday, Oct. 13


By Jessi Mitchell

With the direction of choir teacher Stephanie Mooneyhan, the mixed choir sings during their first concert of the year on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Jessi Mitchell, JAG student life editor

The mixed choir, Treble Ladies, Jag Chorale and Jaguar Singers performed at their first concert of the year with new vocal music teacher Stephanie Mooneyhan on Thursday, Oct. 13.

“I’m so proud of them. There’s always certain unexpected things about a concert but overall I think it went really well,” Mooneyhan said. “For many any of the pieces, it was the best they’ve ever done them.”

According to senior Charlotte Muttai, Mooneyhan gives choir a lively atmosphere.

“She’s really energized and I feel like she’s in the music with us. She tries to put herself in our shoes,” Muttai said. “She empathizes with us if we don’t understand something or if we’re struggling somewhere.”

Implementing a new style of learning called solfege, Mooneyhan said that this technique focused on music literacy by using do, re, mi, fa, sol, la and ti.

“I use this technique more heavily than [former vocal music teacher Sheree Stoppel did. We use that to learn our notes,” Mooneyhan said. “The cool thing about it is that if you know what those intervals sound like, then you can sing anything. It’s like learning how to read the music by sight, instead of just ‘what does this sound like?’ and then sing it back.”

Even though knowing solfege was a requirement, Muttai said that the style of learning benefited the students long term.

“People had to learn how to do solfege before they could even start learning notes, so that set some people back,” Muttai said. “But, it helps because you can refer back to it, [rather than] when we used to learn the words and the notes all at once; now, it’s more separate.”

After her first concert as the choir teacher at Mill Valley, Mooneyhan said she was glad with the students’ performance utilizing the different learning style.

“I think there were a few different things that I do that the kids had to get used to, but overall I think that everyone has adjusted,” Mooneyhan said. “I think the first concert went really well and I’m ready to start holiday music on Tuesday.”

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