//Choral chords corralled

Choral chords corralled

SC4 choir opens arms to community members
Lily Petit
Staff Writer

Choir is no longer a credit course, but open to the community.
Jim Neese, the associate dean of instruction, made the decision to remove choir from the credit course list before the start of the Fall 2014 semester. Neese said choir had not been reaching its enrollment requirement for a few semesters and after consulting with the previous choir director, Cheryl Kaski, Neese moved with the decision.
Enrollment should be 25 students per semester, but the choir class was only reaching 12-13 students consistently.
Kaski said choir’s credit was originally optional when she first began teaching at SC4 three years ago. When it became mandatory that all students be enrolled in the course, their numbers were hurt. She said the enrollment slowly grew since then because she believed students realized the importance of “being part of a team to reach a common goal.”
Kaski sees the benefits of a community choir but says she has had students express that they miss the opportunity to sing during the day because they work at night.
Former choir student, Emily Fisher, 17, said, “That class was stress relieving, peaceful and my “home on campus” if you will. I miss that class with all my heart.”
Choir is not the first class to be handled like this for lack of enrollment.
SC4 band was removed from the credit course list several years ago. The band is now open to students as well as members of the community. Neese said the band has been doing extremely well since they removed the credit.
Students always have the option to petition the reinstatement of the credit. They must present 30 signatures and ensure there will be 30 students enrolled in the class. But for now, choir I, II, III and IV have transformed into the SC4 Community Choir.
Celeste Skalnek, Coordinator of the Arts, organized the new School for the Performing Arts which includes the SC4 Community Choir. Choir is now under the instruction of Carly VanDyke, who is also the choir director at Port Huron Northern High School.
The SC4 Community Choir had 23 members this semester. And for anyone interested in joining those 23 members, the community choir is open to anyone ages 16 and up. SC4’s choir meets Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building in rooms 60 and 26. They perform throughout the academic semester.
A $25 fee is required to join. You can register for choir on the SC4 Portal under non-credit courses. Walk in registrations and phone in registrations are accepted as well. Karen Jezewski, Secretary of Humanities, is in charge of choir registration and can be found in the office of the Fine Arts Building.
A small group from the choir along with SC4’s symphonic band and jazz band will be performing Dec. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre. Admission is $7, but free for students with their SkipperOne card.
A free show featuring the whole choir will be performed the following evening, Dec. 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre. This Holiday concert will have refreshments to follow the entertainment.