Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

School concerts feature man choir, original score


A composition written by student Scotty Hansen and songs by the high school’s “man choir” will be among offerings during the annual Haines School holiday concerts.

Choirs and bands from grades 7-12 will perform 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Chilkat Center. Singers and musicians in grades K-6 perform Tuesday, Dec. 10, also at the center at 6:30 p.m. Mosquito Lake’s holiday concert starts 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the school.

Sophomore Neil Little organized the eight-member “man choir” after hearing a similar group perform last year in Sitka. “I thought it was a fantastic idea,” Little said.

The local singers latched on to “Misty Mountains,” the haunting theme song to the movie “The Hobbit,” that’s become their signature. They’ve also added classic and modern pop hits with a range of voice parts.

Teacher Kristy Totten said Little’s group is mostly on its own. “I let the kids run with that. I leave it up to them what they want to do. I feel it’s important that they feel it’s their own program.”

For home school student Scotty Hansen, the concert will be the first performance of one of his original compositions by a band. It’s a piece he titled “Quasimodo.” “It’s pretty exciting for me,” Hansen said this week.

The piece, he said, is in a minor key because “it reflects on human frailty.” Hansen, 18, has written 15 complete compositions since 2011 and “many other themes bouncing around in my head.”

Writing the piece for only 10 instruments, he said, was a challenge but not unworkable. “Writing for smaller groups is more difficult; you don’t have the wide range of sounds. There’s less flexibility.”

The high school band – including some advanced middle school musicians plus principals Michelle Byer on clarinet and Cheryl Stickler on flute – will perform songs by film composer John Williams, who wrote themes to movies including “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Star Wars.”

The high school choir will sing “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” a selection by Mozart, and a traditional Irish carol. They’ll also harmonize on the pop song, “No Time.”

Students in grades 4-6 will sing “Pass Along,” “Take the Time” and “Reindeer Twist.” Band students in grades 5-6 will play selected Christmas songs.

Teresa Land, who teaches music in lower grades and has worked with Haines School students since 1992, will accompany K-3 students, who will sing a Ugandan welcome song, as well as “Snow” and “Cooroo.”

“The kids are doing a good job. They’re putting a lot of work into it,” Land said this week.


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