While Canyon View and San Rafael junior high schools may be rivals in many respects, they are also sister schools and have many things in common. In recent years, that commonality has been explored and, in deed, brought to the forefront. The recent combined Chorus Concert of the two schools underscores this common bond.
On Oct. 13, chorus students from the two schools gathered before a packed house in the Canyon View commons to present the first concert of the season. It included the eighth and ninth grade choirs and the seventh grade choirs from each school as well as the combined school choirs. Directing the choirs from Canyon View was David Bird while Hans Baantjer directed the San Rafael choirs. More than 100 students were involved, and the accompanists were Merilee Cox of Canyon View and Eileen Lofthouse of San Rafael.
"This was truly an impressive performance for our junior high schools," Larry Davis, principal at Canyon View said. "I was certainly impressed, and I think the audience was impressed, with the quality of voice and rhythm and the overall beauty of the songs, especially for this early in the school year."
The concert began with the Canyon View eighth and ninth grade choir singing "Pie Jesu," by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, and "Cross the Wide Missouri," arranged by Don Besig. The San Rafael eighth and ninth grade choir followed with "Festival Alleluia" by Roger Emerson, and "Dansi Na Kuima" by Dave and Jean Peery. The latter featured the percussion work of Natalie Baantjer, Wendee Hatch, Larelan Huntsman and Nikki Rogers.
The seventh graders then had their turn. First, Canyon View sang "God of Great and Good of Small," by Natalie Sleeth, and "The Old Carrion Crow," arranged by Mary Goetze. The San Rafael seventh graders sang, "I Love the Music In My Life," by Greg Gilpin.
After the individual school performances, the choirs were combined for several numbers. The combined seventh grade choirs sang "Appalachian Dances," arranged by Christi Cary Miller, and "Chariot's Comin'!" arranged by Don Besig.
In the combined eighth and ninth grade girls' segment, the students sang "Dodi Li," arranged by Doreen Rao. This beautiful number included three groups, each performing portions of the song. Group one included Tifani Justice, Tasha Larsen, Sadiez Royall, Rebecca Taboada, Tricia Boyer, Amanda Maxfield and Courtney Ussery. Group two included Amanda Parish, Jacinda Pate, Scottee Hunsaker, Nikki Rogers and Naomi Snow. Group three was made up of Tifani Justice, Larelan Hutsman and Chelsea Patton.
A second number by this group, "Answer to a Child's Question" by Timothy Strang, featured the beautiful flute accompaniment of Shela Baantjer, Emery High School's Music Sterling Scholar.
This was followed by a combined eighth and ninth grade boys' performance. They sang "One More River," arranged by Earlene Rentz, and "We're the Men," by Jay Althouse. This proved to be on the audience favorites.
All eighth and ninth grade students were brought together for the finale which included "Joshua's Battle," arranged by Greg Gilpin, and "Sing With Jubilation!" by Jerry Estes. The audience then showed its appreciation with a standing ovation.
This was not the first time that the schools have performed in combination. The fall concert has alternated between Canyon View and San Rafael for the past few years, and the two choirs combine voices each December with Emery High School for the Christmas concert at EHS autitorium. This year's Christmas concert is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 13.
Principal Davis noted that the success of the combined chorus program has encouraged the two schools to work together on several other activities. Over the past two years the schools have combined for the annual Valentine Dance, and the FCCLA clubs have held table-setting competitions on an altering-school basis. "These kids recognize the rivalry, and we see some very intense athletic competitions," Davis said, "but at the same time it won't be long before these students are Emery High Spartans. We want to bring them together in junior high in noncompetitive, social situations when we can to help foster those things they have in common."