How Music Has Impacted Me at IHS

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How Music Has Impacted Me at IHS

Aaron Ross, Administrator of Acknowledgement

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Throughout my four years at Ipswich high school, and my three years in middle school as well, I have been a fairly devout member of the music program within the school. I began singing in the choir halfway through the sixth grade, and from then on out I became increasingly involved, until this point, where I am preparing to part ways with the program and people that helped shape who I am.  

To start, I’d like to point out the wonderful reputation of the music program at Ipswich High. Ipswich has quite the track record when it comes to winning awards and producing amazing work. Many talented musicians have passed through the school, from composers and songwriters, to instrumentalists and singers. Nearly one third of the student body at IHS takes part in music; that’s an insane amount of students. Many of these music students are also athletes, artists, and even engineering students. I am a strong believer that music is an important part of our lives as individuals; it evokes emotion, allows expression, and embraces individuality and community at the same time. I feel that being involved in music has helped me create bonds and develop throughout my childhood.

I always loved singing and listening to music on the radio as a kid, and by the time I got to middle school, I had decided that I would join the boys chorus. I fell down the rabbit hole and the next year I joined the grade chorus as well as the boys chorus, and stuck with the two groups until high school. I discovered that I could join theater and sing in the musicals as well. Being involved with music has allowed me to discover who I am from an  early age; I developed hard working habits, and discovered that at times I possess leadership traits. “Chorus was always great in Middle School,” says Senior Ian Barg. “I always loved the singing part obviously, but the friendships I made were important to me. There were people I befriended in choir that I probably wouldn’t have normally.” An important part of the music experience is the sense of community it creates within itself. I know that on a day where I’m not feeling the best, I can walk into the chorus room and see nearly one hundred smiling faces and instantly feel a lot better about whatever had me down in the first place.

When it comes to competing, music students have several opportunities to shine. Students with more of a knack for musical talent could audition to be allowed into several honors groups. The group I was a part of was called Chambers Singers. Chambers Singers, or chambers for short, was comprised of an equal amount of members from each vocal part; that’s what gave the group its unique sound, perfect balance between vocal parts. Chambers was always my favorite ensemble to be a part of; limited at around 25 people, it was a very tight-knit group of singers. Every year when a new group of freshman joined and took the seats of past seniors, it was always very bittersweet. On one hand, the new members were bringing a new life to the group; on the other, the seniors whom you’d grown close to were gone. Chambers is where I learned that sometimes I could be somewhat of a leader, which is an important thing to learn about yourself. It started when occasionally underclassmen would ask me for advice, which is still a strange concept to grasp. It’s always strange seeing yourself in a position that you never thought you’d see yourself in. The transition from being the person asking for advice, versus being the person being asked, is really a sentiment of time passing and personal growth.

As my senior year wraps up, I’ve noticed myself and my close friends taking up the habits and actions of the seniors that we looked up to our freshman year. “It’s really weird how high school goes full circle. I always knew it would, but it’s not something you can describe; you need to see it happen for yourself,” said Ben Gibbs, another senior. “Freshman year feels so long ago, but seeing myself act the same way other seniors have in the past is still wild to me.”

In choir, there are a set of songs sang for the final exam. The songs are the same just about every year, so naturally you get better at them with every passing year. On the last few days of choir, we have been teaching the underclassmen these songs, and it’s very fitting. Being able to hand off the torch to new choir members is special, and I hope that they can be just as inspired as I was freshman year, and make the most of choir as I have.  And with that being said, I am glad that the last six or so years of my life have been spent making music.

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