June 9, 2017

Making the Golden Ochtaves Sound Less Ochward

Matan Kogen ‘18
The Golden Ochtaves, Golda Och Academy’s high school choir, is about 40 members strong, sings beautiful music and doesn’t entertain the GOA student body.
“The songs choir does are beautiful,” junior Sammi Glennon explained, “but they get a little repetitive. I wish choir would do more modern songs.”
Glennon’s views, it seems, are shared by much of the school who, when choir performs, often find themselves upset by the lack of diversity in the Golden Ochtaves’ repertoire.
Freshman Logan Biebelberg, who has listened to SSDS Choir/Golden Ochtaves CDs for years, reflected on their older music favorably.
“The choir used to be so much more fun and upbeat,” he said. “I wish [the Golden Ochtaves] were like that now.”
This feeling is not exclusively held by the choir’s audience; choir members agree.
“It’s a little embarrassing that [the Golden Ochtaves] do the same songs every single assembly, but I'm not really bothered by it,” junior Raphael Turitz-Sweifach, a member of the Golden Ochtaves’ bass section said.
Turitz-Sweifach went onto explain that, while the Golden Ochtaves’ repeated performances of the same songs does not bother him, he is bothered by the performances as a whole, calling them “spontaneous” and “not spaced-out well.”
Junior Miriam Morris, the Golden Ochtaves’ alto section leader, echoed Turitz-Sweifach’s feelings.
“I wish [the Golden Ochtaves] did more modern songs,” she said, “but I understand that to have a well-rounded choir, we also need to do more traditional stuff.”
Morris went on to say that the Golden Ochtaves are often “disorganized.”
Many feel these concerns about the Golden Ochtaves’ strength as a choir are not being addressed, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Golden Ochtaves’ Choir Director Nicholas Kaminski has worked since September, 2015 to optimize the Golden Ochtaves.
Kaminski has continued the tradition of selecting a section leader for each voice part, to assist him during rehearsals, while also creating a choir board, elected by the choir, to further help ensure things run smoothly.
Kaminski also recognizes that members of the Golden Ochtaves, as well as their peers are growing tired of the choir’s current repertoire and is working to arrange more modern music for the choir to perform in the coming year.
“[I’m] looking forward to making music with all of [the students] and putting on some incredible performances for the public once we’ve all put in the hard, but necessary, work,” Kaminski recently told the choir. “The choir sounds great this year!”


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