It was a great month for our vocal music department. While there are many reasons that it was successful, the biggest reason is the teacher. Rhonda Farver is now in her 26th year at Indian Rocks Christian School. She has a way of developing our students into outstanding musicians. Rhonda’s duties include directing our MS and HS choirs, teaching classes of students piano in our piano lab, coordinating our chapel praise team, serving as the choral director for our musical each year, helping with producing the joint Christmas program with the church, taking our singers to festivals and competitions, and teaching 7th grade Bible. She doesn’t just do all these things, she does them well. All of these responsibilities require a special set of skills and abilities. It is one thing to have specific talents, it is much more difficult to be able to teach and relate these to students in a way that they understand and are able to replicate them. Rhonda is able to do this.
We received word this past month that our high school choir was selected to perform as a part of the EPCOT Candlelight Processional. This is an audition event for which choirs must be selected on an annual basis. Needless to say this isn’t the first time our choir has been selected but it is always a thrill to be chosen. Our singers will be performing on Monday, December 18 at the 5:00 performance. The celebrity narrator that evening will be Neil Patrick Harris (he was Doogie Houser back in the day). If you have never seen one of these performances, they are amazing. The Processional basically consists of all of the beautiful traditional carols you associate with Christmas, linked together with the Christmas story read straight from the Bible. It is a truly non-commercialized portrayal of Christmas.
Another outstanding event that Rhonda has our students participate in each year is the Stetson Choral Clinic. Fifteen of our high school students learned all their music at the site on a Friday, then performed it at a beautiful concert on Saturday evening! It was amazing and such a great “All State Chorus” type experience for them. These are experiences that you have to go outside of the walls to get and they really help our students grow in their ability and their love for music.
Recently, several soloists and ensembles from our MS/HS Choir that participated in the Florida Vocal Association’s (FVA) Solo & Ensemble Festival at Gibbs High School. Our MS Mixed Ensemble received Superior, and was nominated to perform at the Honor’s Recital that evening. Our MS Quartet of Jenna Faller, Abbie Stavinga, Ava Stevens, and Chloe Weller also received Superior, and did perform at the Honor’s Recital. MS Soloist Jenna Faller also received a Superior rating. Our HS Show Choir and HS Ladies Ensemble both received Superiors as well as HS Soloist Ashlynn Wells. Did you pick up on the theme here? Every group or individual that went to the competition this year received superior ratings. The HS students will advance to the FVA State Festival held in Gainesville on March 16th.
Finally the All State Chorus was announced. Students must take a written exam, sight reading test, and vocal audition to be selected for this honor. Freshman Perry Banse was chosen by the adjudicators. This choir will perform in January at the National Music Educator’s Conference in Tampa. Through the years only 12 other students (11 girls and 1 boy) have been picked for the All State Chorus from Indian Rocks so this is a great honor and accomplishment.
So as you can see from this incredible list of successes, Mrs. Farver does an incredible job with our kids. Thank you, Rhonda, for your faithfulness to our students and your willingness to use your abilities for God’s glory at Indian Rocks Christian School.
by Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal