Upper School Choir Teacher Dana Self organized the first-ever MICDS Sight-Singing Bee this year. The final round began on Tuesday, May 5 with an audience of students, teachers, staff and administrators, including Head of School Jay Rainey, and was finished on Friday, May 8.
If you are unfamiliar with sight-singing, it is when a student is presented with a piece of music or a passage of music that they have never seen before and are asked to sing it on sight using the correct pitches and rhythms. “This is a skill that we work on in every single class, every day of the year,” said Self. “Some students figure the sight-singing puzzle out very quickly; others take a bit more time to develop their skills.”
The competition to make it to round one started back in late August. One hundred singers completed 26 different sight-singing assessments this year. Following the completion of exercise #26 in late April, the top nine students in each choir were eligible to participate in round one. Round one was completed as a closed round (no spectators), with the top three students in each choir advancing to the final round. The top six singers after the first exercise continued in the competition.
The students participating in the final round included:
- Ella Chamberlain ’24
- Samantha Iken ’22
- Bess Lehman ’20
- Isaac Angelo Layugan ’22
- Jaylah McMurtry ’21
- Akshay Patwardhan ’20
- Gabe Probst ’22
- Elena Thomas ’20
- Ittmum Zahir ’22
A sight-singing bee is exciting to watch and listen to, and it was made all the more interesting by happening over Zoom. Self muted spectators throughout the competition, but guests were allowed to send encouragement to students through the chat feature. Spectators were also able to see the actual sight-singing example the student performed as well as hear the student during the 30-second practice period before they sang their example for adjudication. Self and Jason Roberts, Middle School Choir Teacher, served as the judges.
Congratulations to our 2019-2020 MICDS Sight-Singing Champion, Samantha Iken ’22, and well done to all our competitors. We hope the bee becomes a regular occurrence at MICDS!