Winter Pops Concert Leads Students into the Holiday Season


Saige Adair

Anna Marcovitch performing the solo in “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey at the Winter Pops Concert.

Saige Adair

On Dec. 12, the State College High School Choirs presented the Winter Pops Concert. Unlike most choir concerts, this gave the students an opportunity to host a holiday-related performance before the upcoming break. Pop-y holiday tunes and festive sweaters filled State High’s main auditorium. 

The concert was conducted by Erik Clayton, who has been the choir director at State High for eight years.

“The whole goal [of the concert] was entertainment. Not that it’s not educational to still be singing and learning music but it’s meant to be a relaxing thing for the singers,” Clayton noted.

Winter and Spring Pops Concerts include performances from all of the choral groups. At the concert, the 9th-grade choir, Cecilian Singers, OMA, Treble Makers, Chamber Singers, and Master Signers all got the chance to perform. At the end of the concert, there were several pieces performed by choirs all together, giving it a unique environment. 

Madeleine Christopher, a member of Master Singersand Chamber Singers, appreciates having the chance to perform together with everyone. 

“We don’t usually do combined choir pieces, so we sang those four pieces at the end with everyone in the choir program, which is another thing that’s really unique to that concert,” Christopher said. “We all get together as a program to celebrate the season and have a lot of fun together as a nice little send-off before break.”

There tends to be some controversy when it comes to singing songs by Mariah Carey, but this year “All I Want For Christmas Is You” made its way onto the stage.

“I don’t always plan to do the Mariah Carey number, but kids are always wanting to do it so that one has made an appearance more often. There are others that really don’t want to do it but it kinda balances out,” Clayton said. 

The song consisted of a solo performed by Anna Marcovitch. Despite her exceptional performance, Marcovitch had practiced for the show without knowing if she would be doing the solo until the day of. 

“We had auditions where we sent in videos for the solo, and we actually only cast the solo the day of the performance,” Marcovitch said. “It was just a really exciting day, where we were singing it and then we got to know the person singing in the solo.”

It goes without saying that the students have great talent, but every musical performance needs a great conductor to make it all work. “Mr. Clayton tends to get super into this concert. Watching him conduct and the joy that’s on his face is so exciting because he makes everybody else really excited,” Christopher said. 

The holiday aspect of the Winter Pops Concert brings down the level of stress when performing for some students. 

Ethan Swauger, a tenor member of the 9th-grade choir expressed his ease during the concert. 

“[With] classical [music], the audience is paying more attention to it, and you have to focus on dynamics and all that,” Swauger said. “Where when people know the song, I wasn’t nervous at all.”

“This one has a far more casual vibe to it as far as the music that we’re performing and the general ambiance of the concert,” Christopher said. “Usually for more formal concerts, we’re wearing concert blacks and master singers are in robes, but for this one there’s a lot more leniency as far as what we get to wear. We get to have a lot of fun with our outfits.”

The Winter Pops concert provided an exciting and fun chance for students to perform and the audience to enjoy this holiday season.