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Chorus Nurtures a Culture of Collaboration at BHMA

Image of the Berkshire Hills chorus, directed by Michelle Kostek sings on stage at the end-of-semster concert.

The BHMA Chorus is the school's largest ensemble, and includes nearly all current students of the BHMA community. Meeting twice per week for rehearsals, students participate in both group and SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) section warm­ups, vocal exercises and the development of performance repertoire.

All music courses at BHMA are designed by our staff of music therapists to address the non­-music goals of both individual students and the class as a whole. Chorus is a particularly suitable course for the integration of social skills, as a successful choir requires individuals to come together and collaborate as a group. While practicing vocal technique, music fundamentals and music listening skills, students continually work on self­-regulation, self-advocacy, communication and time management skills through participation in this ensemble.

Leading the chorus together since 2010, Michelle Kostek and Tom Slowick share a similar teaching philosophy, one that includes helping students develop an appreciation of many different kinds of music. Each semester, a mix of choral arrangements are offered, highlighting broadway, traditional, folk and popular singing styles. Every effort is placed on creating an enriching, nurturing and positive musical environment in the classroom – one that challenges each student's musicality while also ensuring a successful performance as an end result.

Students in chorus look forward to performing together at coffee houses, concerts and Variety Hour. Parents and staff always look forward to hearing them! There is a strong sense of accomplishment for each student when they're able to show their family and friends how hard they've worked. The post-­performance smiles are quite contagious!


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