Seven choral students gave up their Saturday recently to lead a clinic for and share their gifts and talents with middle school students from throughout the Diocese of Raleigh.
The free clinic, which ran from 9 a.m.to 2 p.m. on October 27, drew 26 students from local, Catholic middle schools who learned and performed songs from The Greatest Showman, the musical inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum. By attending the Saturday clinic these students not only enhanced their skills but gained a preview of the extensive array of arts opportunities Gibbons offers, said Choral Director Martha Zaldivar. For the Gibbons students, she said the clinic was a chance for them to showcase their school and program, as well as to give back and grow as leaders.
There is joy in sharing good quality, fun, choral music, said Choral Director Martha Zaldivar.
While this is the first time the October clinic was offered, Zaldivar said it represents an expansion of outreach efforts to middle schools. It joins the annual Choral Christmas Clinic, which has been offered each December for the last several years. It takes place this year on December 7th at 7:30 p.m.
To be sure, the choral clinics are just one example of the outreach efforts Gibbons extends to its Catholic middle school partners. Last month, for instance, Gibbons also hosted the Fifth Annual Middle School Leadership Conference, which came two months after its two-year-old Middle School Leadership Conference for Educators. In addition, Gibbons parents serve as liaisons with our partner schools through the Middle School Ambassador Program. And the theater and music departments as well as Gibbons technology and athletics also offer programs specifically designed for middle schoolers.
And outreach efforts continue to expand as is evident by the October choral clinic. During the clinic participants did vocal warmups as well as physical ones, learned and performed songs, had fun, and “gave middle schoolers a chance to see what chorus is like in high school,” said Mihir Nagaraj ’19 who helped run the clinic. Describing the importance of providing such a clinic to younger students he noted: “Coming into high school, chorus provided me with a constant and supportive community, so I hope that these middle schoolers felt that sense of community and have that when they go to high school.”
Asked what he liked most about the clinic, Theo Macomber, a sixth grader at St. Michael Catholic School in Cary, said, “I liked learning new songs and meeting new people from the other diocesan schools.”