Fairfield's Choral Ensembles

6th Grade Choir - The introductory choir open to all 6th grade students. This choir meets as a class during school hours. Basic vocal technique and fundamentals are taught along with literature spanning several genres. Concerts will be performed quarterly at the Fairfield Intermediate School. Kelly Walker & Mari Wilkerson are the instructors.

7th Grade Choir - This choir meets daily as a class during the elective portion of the day at Fairfield Middle School. This school year, the choir will be made up of exclusively 7th grade students, and is open to any student. Members will continue to work on basic vocal technique and sing literature spanning many styles, including musical theatre and jazz. Concerts are given quarterly at Fairfield Middle School. Kelly Walker & Mari Wilkerson are the instructors.

8th Grade Choir - Exploring intermediate levels of choral music, this choir is the top concert ensemble of Fairfield Middle School. Each student will be encouraged to develop vocal independency on multiple harmony parts and take part in solo opportunities. Concerts are given quarterly at Fairfield Middle School. Kelly Walker & Mari Wilkerson are the instructors.

Rhythm Express*- Rhythm Express is the auditioned show choir for 7-9th grade students. This ensemble has a long tradition of excellence, winning multiple Grand Champion awards in show choir competitions. In 2010, the ensemble was named National Grand Champion at Show Choir Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee. The show choir meets as an extra-curricular ensemble twice a week. Additional costuming and travel fees apply. Mark Mercer is the director of the ensemble, along with Mari Wilkerson as assistent director. 

Freshman Choir - Open to all freshman students, this choir is the introductory level program for high school choral offerings. Daily sight-reading, technique, and showmanship practices will be taught to all singers. The choir meets as a class and will be a prerequisite for membership in the auditioned high school level groups. This group will also compete in Class C at OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association) contest. The ensemble is directed by Mark Mercer.

Symphonic Choir* - An auditioned concert choir offered to students in 10-12th grade at the Senior High. Students must complete a vocal audition for placement into this ensemble. Students will prepare and perform distinguished works spanning centuries of choral music and compete at OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association) contest. This choir is directed by Mark Mercer.

Pure Elegance* - Pure Elegance is in their 10th year as a competitive all-female show choir representing Fairfield High School. In their short history, they have claimed numerous Grand Champion awards and have been ranked alongside mixed show choirs. In 2010, the ensemble was named 1st Runner-Up at Show Choir Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee. The choir meets daily as a class with after-school rehearsals with the tech crew and band. Additional costuming and travel fees apply. Mark Mercer is the director of the ensemble, with Randy Sage and Ellie Jordan functioning as staff 
choreographers.

Choraliers* - Choraliers is beginning their 51st year as one of the nation's premier show ensembles. The top concert and show choir of the Fairfield City School district, the Choraliers have a long tradition of musical excellence including countless Grand Champion awards in regional, state, and national competitions. The choir is complimented by an award-winning fifteen piece combo and tech crew each season, who have also garnered many accolades. The choir meets daily as a class with after-school rehearsals with the tech crew and band. Additional costuming and travel fees apply. Mark Mercer is the director of the ensemble, with Randy Sage and April James functioning as staff choreographers.

* - auditioned ensembles

Past Recognition!

Concerts Kick-Off Choraliers' competition season (12/11)

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Choraliers are getting ready for their competition season — and the 2012 World Choir Games in July. With several upcoming events scheduled in the next few weeks as well as the start of the competition season, the well-known group from Fairfield High School will give audiences a taste of what to expect come July 4-14 in Cincinnati. The Choraliers and Symphonic Choir will join the group SonShip to perform "Sounds of the Season" featuring sacred Christmas music at 7 p.m. Friday at the high school. Tickets are $10. On Monday, the choir and orchestra will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. at the high school, then on Jan.6-7, the show choirs — Choraliers, Pure Elegance and Rhythm Express — will debut their contest shows at the "Cocoa and Choirs" at North Fairfield Baptist Church. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. both nights, and tickets are $5 each. "This is one of the biggest things for me and the kids that we look forward to," choral director Jeff Clark said. "This is a chance to show the alumni and those who support us what we've been doing since August." The contest shows for each group are as follows: Choraliers (Around the World in 80 Days); Pure Elegance (The Big Dollhouse); and Rhythm Express (Rock the Night). Around the World in 80 Days is the same performance the Choraliers will do in July on the international stage. Inspired by the Olympic ideal, the goal of the World Choir Games is to unite people from all nations through singing in peaceful competition every two years, organizers said, calling it the largest and most significant international arts event ever in the history of the city. "This a highlight of my professional career," Clark said. "The international stage will be there to see us and to see what show choir is here in America. Show choir is a place for students to express themselves, and doing it on a world stage shows how powerful it can be for kids uniting for one purpose."

Fairfield Choraliers chosen for World Choir Games (4/11)

FAIRFIELD - The Fairfield High School Choraliers are the first United States show choir to qualify and be invited to compete at the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati. The announcement was made during an all school assembly Thursday by Lori Lobsiger, director of North American Markets for the International Organizing Committee of Interkultur, the non-profit group that organizes the games.

The Choraliers will compete at the championship - highest - level.

"This means they're an absolutely outstanding representative of the American genre," Lobsiger said. "We're very, very proud to be able to welcome a show choir from our host city. This is the Olympics of choral competitions."

The competition for choral groups will be held in Cincinnati July 4-14, 2012. It is the first time a United States city has hosted the international gathering since it began in 2000. Next year's competition is the first one to include a show choir division.

"This brings national attention to what we do as artists, as performers," said Jeff Clark, director of choral activities. "It's awesome for us to be able to say we were the first ones there."

The international choral gathering in held every other year, offering 20 musical genres. International adjudicators judge each choral group on a 100-point scale, competing for gold, silver and bronze medals.

Although next year's competition show hasn't been selected or choreographed yet, Clark said it will probably have more of an international focus.

"As we design the show for next year, we'll think in a little more global, worldly scale," Clark said. "Now we go for music highly recognizable to American teenagers."

Auditions for the 2011-12 Choraliers - which will compete in the World Choir Games - will be held the first week in May, Clark said.

Fairfield is also looking into the possibility of hosting a competition or related event, Clark said. Former Choraliers director Dan Prior is on the local committee putting together the Cincinnati event.

The Choraliers are headed to Indianapolis April 30 to the first ever National Championship Show Choir Series finals.

The choir qualified after finishing with a second runner-up April 2 in the FAME Chicago qualifier. Besides second runner-up, the team took home the award for Best Show Design. The choir has been named Grand Champion five times in four states this year.

Fairfield show choirs earn competition honors (1/11)

FAIRFIELD — The 2011 competition season for the Fairfield City Schools show choirs began with some recognition of talent.
In the Marysville Showcase recently, the FHS Choraliers were named Champion Large Mixed Show Choir and earned awards for Best Costume, Best Show Concept and Best Instrumental Ensemble.
Pure Elegance earned a Champion award in the women's division, and Kelsi Gibbons was named Best Performer.
Fairfield's junior high show choir, Rhythm Express, took home several honors from the Beavercreek Midwest Classic Jan. 14. The group earned Best Vocals, Best Choreography and was named Grand Champion.
A.J. Johnson was named Outstanding Performer.
"All groups will be at the South Dearborn Showcase on Jan. 21-22," according to information at www.fairfieldchoirs.com, where there is a list of upcoming performances and audio of the show choirs.
"The Fairfield Choraliers will be competing in FAME Chicago April 1-3, 2011. We are looking into multiple fundraising opportunities for our students to offset the cost of this trip," said Choral Director Jeff Clark in a message on the website.
Also according to the site, the following students are named to the Ohio Music Education Association District 13 Honor Choir: Amy Bell, Elizabeth Brueggeman, Josh Goodman, Brianna Hanson, Sarah James, Lauren Kolas, Daniel Mallory and Ashley Wheeler.
The students will perform Feb. 12 at Kings High School.

Fairfield High School Concert Choirs take high marks at OMEA Contest! (3/10)

On March 12, the Fairfield High School Symphonic Choir and Choraliers attended District 13 Large Group Contest at Lebanon Middle School in Lebanon, Ohio. Choraliers received a I, (superior) the top rating, overall as well as for the sight-reading portion of the contest. This qualified the group to compete at state competition! In just their second time competing, Symphonic Choir received a II (excellent) at contest. We are very proud of the successes of these two groups! Congrats!

Fairfield's Rhythm Express wins National Championship! (3/10)

by Lindsey Hilty of Journal News

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield's Rhythm Express won its first national championship Thursday, March 25, at the Fame Show Choir Nationals in Nashville, Tenn.

"Everyone in Rhythm knew that had been the best performance we've had yet," freshman Josh Trimboli said of the seventh- through ninth-grade choir. "Everyone knew we'd just won. It still came as a shock. Everyone was crying. People were screaming."

It was the biggest win yet, director Jeff Clark said. The group also won Best Vocals, Best Choreography, Best Combo Band, Overall Best Effect/Show, Overall Best Female Performer — Shayla Gragston — and Overall Best Female Soloist — Beth Endsley.

"They've always been up there with the best of the best with the middle school, but I think especially for this group, it means a lot to them," Clark said. "The show they have this year has been compared to high school groups."

It was especially satisfying to hear the name Fairfield again and again for awards, he said.

"The momentum just grew and grew to a fevered pitch. A lot of crying going on, too. The other great thing about this is they are performing right on stage of the Grand Ole Opry. All the kids walk off the stage feeling like a million bucks being able to perform here."

Freshman Kristin Lorenz said she was nervous before the show, but that she will never forget the sign on the door: "Through these doors there will walk a grand champion."

"That will stick with me," she said.

Fairfield's all-girl choir, Pure Elegance, earned first-runner up Friday, with three of the five judges ranking them first. It also won best stage crew and female soloist, Heather Keith.

"They did the best show of the year," Clark said. "They've come a long way and the girls, we're so proud of them. They huddled close together and had a good crying moment right afterward. They were very, very happy."

The Choraliers, the district's main high school show choir, will perform with six of the 18 choirs in the finals this morning. They are in third-place going into the finals behind two teams from California.

"We're representing Ohio," Clark said. "These are big name groups from all over."

Fairfield High School a National GRAMMY School Finalist! (11/09)

by Lindsey Hilty of Journal News

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Senior High School music department leaders already knew they had a great group of students and programs.

But a recent affirmation of the program via a national award didn't hurt.

FHS has been selected as a National GRAMMY Signature School finalist, and is one of 150 schools in the running to receive money for its music program.

The GRAMMY Foundation grants up to $10,000 to music departments for displaying superior performance in choral, band and orchestral music. Final results will not be known until late March 2010, but Choraliers Director Jeff Clark said he already feels like a winner.

"We were ecstatic," he said. "We're very excited of the fact that we know we have a nationally ranked music program here, but we sometimes feel people outside of Fairfield don't know it. Should we win, we would get some national attention and people would know what we have going on here."

Clark entered the contest with the hope of getting extra funding for some new instruments, sheet music and other updated equipment. Without the Tempo Club, he said running such a successful music program would not be possible. However, extra money would enable the departments to fulfil some wishes like getting a new keyboard.

Clark submitted a CD of samplings from the top orchestra, choirs and band performances, highlighting the district's talent.

Getting selected as just one of three finalists from Ohio schools and a handful nationwide shows the strength of the overall program at Fairfield, music and band director Jill Wilhelm said.

"I think we stand out because we have a large amount of remarkably talented students who care a lot about their music and about the school, and because we have a staff that is experienced and caring and works well together," she said. "We're just excited about the opportunity, and we're looking forward to people hearing about us. And, we hope we can go even further and hopefully get that grant."