Changes Occur in FHS Choirs


The Fremont High School Varsity choir is growing young for next year’s chosen top ensemble.

For the past years, Fremont High Varsity Choir has consisted of strictly juniors and seniors, while JV has been freshman and sophomores.

FHS music director Mark Harman has been entertaining the idea of the changes for a few years.

“Next year’s JV choir will be grades nine through 12,” Harman said. “The varsity choir will be grades 10 through 12. For the first time, in my teaching career, sophomores will be eligible to audition for the varsity choir. There will also be 11th and 12th graders who are eligible for the JV group, as a sort of intermediate kind of group so there’s a place they can go to get some training.”

This change affects students individually except for freshmen. However, it will affect the overall classroom environment for everyone.

“I think that the big change here is in the sophomore class,” Harman said. “There are some students in the sophomore class every year who are capable and would be absolutely incredible contributors in the varsity choir setting.”

The setup for next year’s ensemble gives talented underclassmen a chance to earn their spot in the top choir Fremont has to offer.

“I’m hoping that we can accomplish a couple of things,” Harman said.  “One is balance in the varsity ensemble. Right now it’s about two-to-one sopranos and altos, to tenors and basses, which isn’t really conducive to great music-making in the choral setting.”

It also gives an opportunity for upperclassmen, who are not fully comfortable with the varsity experience to get training in a similar learning environment.

“If you’re a senior and an intermediate musician, the only place you can go was into the top ensemble,” Harman said. “Which means you may be behind a little bit, and fighting to try to keep up. There’s no real place for you to go get trained outside of that varsity group. I think about that. So this gives us a chance to take those students who maybe move in late or who maybe have just been a little bit slow to get caught up to have a place to do that”

Harman has noticed differences in the moods of both Varsity and JV ensembles toward this change for next year but thinks that there has been a positive spark in the JV choir in light of the situation.

“I think largely at the lower levels, the JV level there, they feel positive about it,” Harman said. “They all have an opportunity. I think what we’ll find is once we get ensembles in place, and we start making music, I think it’ll be overwhelmingly possible positive at that point, it’ll be a really positive change for our program.”

FHS junior Molly Brester shares her thoughts on the changes.

“The changes coming to the choir are for the best,” Brester said. “They are supposed to maximize talent and ability in the choir and help it grow. I was a little hesitant about the idea at first but the idea is growing on me more and more.”

Harman sees these changes to the varsity and JV choir as long-term.

“I see this as a permanent change as a way for us to bolster the top end of the program the real valuable experience for the students at the top end,” Harman said. “And to end to sort of solidifying the middle level and the intermediate level, of our program.”