SPARTA, NJ - New Jersey has a unique choir every year comprised of high school students from Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergan, Essex and Hudson counties. The rigorous audition process includes singing scales, a specific folk song and a tonal memory passage for a blind panel of high school directors.

Newton High was well represented in the select choirs. Chelsea Leonardo was in the Women’s Choir. Bridget Guziewicz, Alerandra VanderMaas, Beth-Ann Whitehead, Gregory Nappa, Imad Balatero, Miguel Camacho, Jaydeep Mukherjee and Christopher Dionne were selected for the Mixed Choir. 

The All-North Jersey Choir was created to unite hundreds of high school students from 64 high schools who all share a unique passion for singing choral music at a high level with professional conductors. The Mixed Choir was made up of 240 students, while there were 100 students in the Women’s Choir.  Every year a different school district holds the rehearsals and concert.

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This year the Region I Mixed and Woman’s Choirs was held at Sparta High School. The Region Choir event is special every year, but this year it held special meaning for Sparta. Both of the piano accompanists, Dr. Deborah Giannuzi and Laura Lopez, both teach music at Sparta High School and Jessica Pomeroy, the conductor of the Women’s Choir, was a graduate of Sparta High School.

Kevin Boehm, the choral director at Vernon Township High School, proudly sent students to the Region Choir this year. “It is a joy to see the artistry and love of music that both the conductors and singers bring to the performance, as well as the rehearsal process, on a yearly basis,” said Boehm.

The songs the Mixed Chorus performed included “Last Words” by Randall Thompson, “Dies Irae” from Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “I’ve Been in the Storm So Long” Arr by Jeffery Ames, “O Whistle and I’ll Come to Ye” Arr by Mark WIlberg, “Bright Morning Stars” Arr. By Kirchner Janu, “Dziesma” Arr by Arturs Maskats

Songs sung by the Women’s Choir included Psalm 100 by Rene Clausen, “Nuit D’Etoiles”  Arr Alan Raines, “Las Amerillas” Arr Stephen Hatfield, “Tundra” by Ola Gjielo, “Kaval Sviri”  by Petar Liondev, and “Take Me to the Water” by Rollo Dillworth