New Teacher Mr. Burton Plus an Update on Our Choir Program

Olivia Mohr

After having several choir directors come and go, Mr. Burton showed up at West to stay. When describing his job opportunity at West, he claimed, “I was at the right place at the right time…God lined it all up for me.” He feels blessed and welcome to be here, and he enjoys directing our choirs so much that he doesn’t even feel like it’s a job…yet. He is doing a job that he loves, and he hopes he will do it for a long time.

He hopes that his students will gain a lot from his teaching. His philosophy is that being in choir means that you’re not just there to sing; you’re a musician. In his words, “I want my students to understand what’s on the page…I want them to read correctly, have total understanding, and reach the highest level of musicianship…There is a time to work and a time to play, and sometimes work is what makes it fun.” He doesn’t want our choirs to simply go through the motions and sing; he wants us to learn and understand and grow as musicians. He also wants us to be well prepared for our performances.

He helped us prepare for our fall concert, and he was very pleased with the performance. “The time prepping was wonderful. Chorale is making great strides and doing wonderful things every day, and the concert choir is performing challenging pieces most high school choirs wouldn’t do.” With the new director and the short amount of time to learn and polish pieces, he believes the performance went very well, and he is looking forward to our future performances.

Speaking of which, our Christmas concert is coming up on Thursday, December 17th, the community choir is about to set up, Mr. Burton will be helping with the music for the Little Mermaid after Christmas, and Assessment is also after Christmas.

All-State is also right around the corner. Mr. Burton believes that the highest honor of being in choir is making All-State. It is also, in his opinion, “one of the few most nerve-wracking events.” In reference to the audition that took place on the 22nd of this month, we went up against the whole state, and we could only take a small number of people due to the fact that we have a small choral program. Mr. Burton hoped that those who auditioned would be on top of the game. We will find out who made the audition next month in November. All-State is such an honor because it provides an opportunity to sing with some of the best singers in the state, and that degree of difficulty and skill level makes it “a musical experience that every talented musician would want to do,” whether it be in choir or band.

We are so happy to have Mr. Burton with us and we are looking forward to growing as musicians!

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