Tiger Tones: North, South Honor Choirs Combine to Perfect Harmony
School is out for the day, but beautiful voices can be heard wafting through the hallways. At first it sounds like a simple children’s choir — and then the harmony starts.
“I love it when we have been working with the two groups separately and then we combine. I love watching the students’ faces when they first hear the two parts together,” North Elementary music teacher Angie Harmon said. “It doesn’t always go well on our first try, but the students really love the challenge of perfecting our harmony.”
Ozark Elementary Tiger Tones is a combined elementary honor choir for fourth- and fifth-grade students at South and North elementary schools. The 70 students chosen must audition and then commit to weekly after-school practices. Debuting in the 2018-19 school year, Harmon and South Elementary music teacher Lauren Wilkins said combining the two choirs was a great decision.
“Our first year exceeded our expectations. The kids really impressed us with their ability to sing challenging music,” Harmon said. “The students are able to divide into two groups — one with me and one with Lauren. Being able to divide like this is extremely helpful. Also, having someone to collaborate and lead with has helped the whole process.”
Wilkins said the idea to combine the two schools started while attending an annual Missouri Music Educators Conference and watching other elementary choirs.
“It really inspired us to take the leap,” Wilkins said. “We knew that starting a group together would allow us to divide and conquer to teach our kids two-part music more effectively. We hope that through this experience students gain a passion for singing and making music with others.”
Now, Harmon and Wilkins have their chance to inspire other music educators, as Ozark Tiger Tones was one of three elementary choirs selected across the state to perform at the MMEA Conference Jan. 24 in Osage Beach.
“We are beyond excited that the Tiger Tones have been chosen to sing at our state music conference,” Harmon said. “Lauren and I have attended the MMEA conference for years, and we always love to support the music teachers from all over the state as their choirs perform. Hearing these amazing choirs is always the highlight of the conference. This year will definitely be much different. The Tiger Tones will have a turn to be up in front of so many music teachers. It is definitely a little bit intimidating, but we are very excited!”
Come support the Ozark Elementary Tiger Tones and Nixa Inman Intermediate Sixth Grade Select Choir as they perform the programs they will be presenting at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference in late January.
The concert is at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at South Haven Baptist Church, 2353 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield.
The Ozark Elementary Tiger Tones is directed by Angie Harmon and Lauren Wilkins and the Inman Intermediate Sixth Grade Select Choir is directed by Blake Richter.