Panorama shot of the concert choir. Photo by Zachary Nedell.

The daily life of the concert choir is a fun but work-heavy schedule that revolves around many students, ranging from their sophomore year to their senior year. Each student holds a passion for singing, as they learn from chorus teacher Todd Cole, who has been teaching at Malden High School for 19 years and teaching in general for 27. 

The 90-minute classes have made schedules across the high school somewhat different, affecting the concert choir. Cole remarked that “I'm kind of reworking the way that I break up the class because you can't have them singing the entire period, their voices wouldn't last.” Rather than doing that, Cole begins with a warmup for his concert choir and mixed choir classes. This could be either working on pieces that students are reviewing or dealing with measures of new notes. Cole explained that afterwards, he allows students to “sit for a little bit while we do some music theory… I teach them how to sight-read and how to read rhythm… Then we stand back up and jump into two or three more pieces at the end of the period.”

For some students, this was a different experience, especially with the schedule. Senior Natalia Matos commented that “he teaches us something new [every day to] work on with the specific parts.” She believes that during that time it is very productive, and "it's not a lot of slack time" because they work really hard, "so we get a lot done.” 

When there is not enough time in the period, the students immediately go home to study, and Matos continued that “when I'm struggling on a piece, I go home and kind of practice it myself. We have a lot of time in choirs so it's not too hard for us.” “I listen to the audio recordings as I'm doing my homework,” Senior Yasmine Alayan added.

At the end of the day, Cole enjoys every class with the concert choir, as he gratefully mentioned that “even after 19 years of being here at Malden High School, I walk into the building, and I get excited when I get here first thing in the morning and I'm planning the day knowing full well that the students that come into my room are here because they love singing.” He stated that “I know ahead of time that those are the students that I'll be teaching.  And I'm not sure every teacher gets the luxury of that.” Cole explained that there tends to be “a lot of teachers that have students only because the students have to be there. Some students don't like math, but they still have to sit in a math class and that teacher still has to access them.”

 “My students have chosen to be here. And that's what makes my job and concert chorus such a pleasure,” Cole expressed.

The Concert Choir practicing with teacher Todd Cole, singing in regular and mixed formation. All photos by Zachary Nedell. 

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