Choir dedicates concert in memory of vocal coach

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Choir dedicates concert in memory of vocal coach

By Payton Jarzyna, Assistant Editor

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Sophie Harris has been singing for her entire life, and has worked with vocal coach, Ms. Gottlieb, but was still nervous to perform in front of the small crowd of people attending the Evening of Music recital on April 24.

“I get a little anxious singing for small groups, but I thought it was a really cool experience to have that formal recital,” Harris, Div. 152, said.

The recital was for students who performed in the IHSA (Illinois High School Association) state competition in April. People performed solos and duets in the competition, and the recital showcased these performances to parents and other guests who could not make it to the IHSA tournament.

Ms. Gottlieb was a vocal instructor who worked with the Lane choir program for 12 years. Sadly, Ms. Gottlieb passed away from cancer last February. The choir department dedicated their April 24 recital to Ms. Gottlieb.

“Ms. Gottlieb, our voice coach, really helped all of us increase our vocal confidence and helped us be more confident in ourselves as performers,” Harris said.

“Ms. Gottlieb contributed greatly to our success,” Desiree Rios, Div. 178, said. “She picked a song that was very complimentary for my partner and I’s voices, and we played off of each other really well.”

Over the decade Gottlieb worked with Lane’s Choir department, they have won hundreds of “Superior” awards at CPS and State IHSA vocal competitions. Many of the students she mentored continued to the collegiate level, according to choir teacher Mr. Mark Carrera.

“She’s been here for many generations of high school students,” Harris said. “She really encouraged us to keep on singing and continue with our music careers.”

Lane Tech Choir placed second in the 2019 IHSA state tournament, which is the highest they have ever ranked, and they only missed first place by three points, according to Mr. Carrera.

“We had 243 points, and the other school had 246 points,” Carrera said. “But we were really happy, so proud of what the kids had accomplished. These kids worked for months on their songs for hours and hours.”

The Carreras, Mr. Mark and Paul Carrera, brothers who both teach choir at Lane, also hired a professional accompanist to work with the students. An accompanist is someone who provides musical accompaniment or support to another musician or singer.

“[Performers] met with the accompanist two times in order to do their solos,” Carrera said. “The kids just work really hard to put it all together.”

Students performing at the competition sang classical art songs, written by the great masters of classical art music, Carrera said.

Many of the songs were also in foreign languages, which can pose an extra challenge to singers. Ms. Gottlieb helped Harris sing a song in Italian, entitled “O Del Mio Dolce Adore,” composed by Christoph Gluck.

“She would help us with languages – she knew how to pronounce and sing every language,” Carrera said.

Students worked on the pieces they sang in the recital for months and continued working on the songs they plan to perform in the concert.

“My duet partner and I practiced every day during class time,” Rios said. “We have a binder full of music that is hand-picked by the Carreras to sing in the concert.”

Gottlieb worked with students twice a week for the last twelve years, Carrera said. She gave free private lessons to students who couldn’t afford them, and many of the students she worked with received scholarships because of her work with them.

“Getting second place in the IHSA competition was a great accomplishment, and we could not have done it without her,” Carrera said. “She has helped me grow as a teacher, and we learned a ton.”

The choir program also dedicated the Spring Concert on May 29 to Ms. Gottlieb.

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