Big sound from a small town
Sheridan High’s Women’s Choir
There are only six young ladies, but their voices more than make up for the group’s small size. The 2021-2022 Sheridan High School’s Women’s Choir is part of the high school’s Performing Arts Department led by Mr. Anthony Johnson, MFA. Mr. Johnson is Sheridan School District’s Music Specialist and works with students in the elementary, middle and high schools. Seniors Caitlyn Galiger, Katherine Tucker, Madeline Lindroth and Rachel Zielinski, along with Junior Jazz Fast Horse, and Sophomore Lilly Smock, have brought their beautiful harmonies to events throughout the school year.
They recently competed in April at the District Music Festival in Deer Lodge. The group was entered in the Ensemble (less than five members), and Choir (five or more members) performance divisions. Comments from the judges included overall praise for the choir and that even though they were a high school choir, they were performing at a “junior college level”. One judge verbally noted that they were the best choir that day. Four of the members also competed in the Solo performance division. All performers successfully completed their day with Superior Ratings, including a perfect Solo performance score for Katherine Tucker.
Next stop for these talented singers is the Montana State Festival held the first weekend in May in Helena. They will be entered in Ensemble as well as Solo performances. They’re sure to impress judges at the state level with their balance and harmony.
Mr. Johnson, affectionately known as ‘Mr. J’, reflected on the ladies’ District win. “Their hard work and dedication to our program showed today, and the pride they have to continue to be the best them that they can be. They, at this point are perfect, and have been this entire year without failure. I know as well they will be perfect performing at the State level. I truly care for these young ladies, and what they have accomplished this year, then ending it with a performance tour through Montana and Idaho in May!”
The Sheridan High Women’s Choir will kick off their 2-State performance tour with a hometown concert for the community on May 9th at 7:00 p.m. at Sheridan High.
Each of these young ladies reflected on their musical journey this past year and all agreed that they grew as singers and as friends. All the ladies agreed that part of their amazing choir season is due to the constant support of Mr. J, “our biggest fan”.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to sing with…they have given me an amazing last year,” said senior Caitlyn, the only member of the group who isn’t new to the choir this year.
“I feel like we all have a strong bond with each other and these girls feel more like family,” said sophomore Lilly, who joined the choir this year. Another first time SHS choir member, senior Katherine, will be pursuing a minor in music in the fall at UM Western, and said her choir experience has helped her to grow as a singer and as a person.
Several of the members stated they will probably not pursue choir in the future, making this team dear to their hearts. Junior Jazz is happy to be part of something special, and senior Rachel agrees that even though her future career path doesn’t include music, “…I foresee taking these lessons and memories with me.”
Mike Wetherbee, Sheridan High School’s principal and Sheridan School District’s Superintendent, was equally supportive of the ladies. “I love to see our kids do well on all stages, whether it is in the academic, fine arts or sporting competitions. This is just another example of where our kids shine. Fine arts are important as a part of a well-rounded high school education. We need to pay attention to that avenue of education for all of our students. These students are great examples of where our music program is heading. They should be congratulated on their efforts. Great job!”
Anyone interested in sponsoring or supporting the choir’s musical journey can get details for donations and sponsorship by contacting Mr. Anthony Johnson at Sheridan High School at (406) 842-5401 or Anthony.johnson@ sheridan.k12.mt.us.