Passion and Music Combine in the Creation of New Choir Class


Kara Prince

The choir stands while practicing the alma mater. The class is spending time learning the song for the hoopcoming assembly.

Reilly Cornwall, Staff Writer

Anyone who has had a class in the 5000 building at Sage Creek High School is familiar with the sounds of the band classes. From trumpets to saxophones to violins, even with the door closed it’s easy to hear the musicians warming up and practicing their songs. A symphony forms there every day, with talking and laughter mixing in with pieces of music and the conductor’s encouragement. But for the first time this year, a new sound filled the 5000 building every morning. Singing.

Twenty bright voices surrounding a piano every morning fill the air with music. Scales and warm ups are sung before moving on to songs like Sage Creek’s alma mater or love songs for Valentine’s day, all led by music teacher Juliana Quinones.

Quinones, on top of her already full schedule of band and orchestra classes, agreed to teach Sage Creek High School’s first-ever choir class this year.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” Quinones said. “We’ve got a really good group of kids and they want to work and learn how to be the best they can be.”

The addition of the choir class this year is part of the ongoing effort to expand the arts programs at Sage Creek. It was the combined efforts of Quinones and a choir club on campus that allowed the creation of the program.

Despite being so new, the choir class has been very busy this year. They’ve already had two concerts and are planning a third this spring in addition to their regular pep rally performances. According to her students, Quinones’ positivity and passion for the class comes through in her teaching.

“She’s very open and she lets us do a lot of learning ourselves, but when we need it she will definitely help and will teach us everything that we need to know,” said junior choir student Emily Howard.

Quinones’ passion for music started long before she came to Sage Creek. Before teaching, she was a part of her school’s band program and has been playing instruments since elementary school.

“[Music] is my life. I breathe it, I dream about it,” said the music teacher. “I started playing in fifth grade. The clarinet was my first instrument.”

Quinones started teaching at Sage Creek two years ago, before the school started its choir program. Last year however, current senior Phoebe Tran started a choir club on campus, and helped Quinones with starting the choir class. She explained that the club was a much more casual version of the class.

“It was more of just a bunch of kids trying to help other kids learn how to sing from like past experiences and outside lessons” Tran said.

Although there’s now a class, the club still meets Mondays at lunch in English teacher Sarah Hunter’s room. But whether students are in the class or the club, the one thing they all share is a passion for music.

“When you sing, you add depth to what you’re trying to say. Not only is there a message, but also you’re speaking through music,” club president Tran said.

The choir students expressed a similar love for music as the choir club members.

“It’s just another way to express how you’re feeling where you don’t necessarily have to use words,” Howard said.

With the incredible passion for music in her students, it’s no surprise that Quinones is doing everything she can to help the choir class grow.

“The goal in the long-term is to build up the program, get enough enough people interested so that we can add extra classes and extra levels” Quinones said.

So as long as Juliana Quinones is the music teacher at Sage Creek, students can expect the music of the 5000 building to continue and grow for many years to come.