Bringing Communities Together One Song at a Time

Fundraising was a success for Lights on Canton. photograph by Kimberly Marze

BY TORI STIEGMAN

The Canton Middle School and High School Chamber Singers had their first performance of the year at the Lights on Canton Lighting Ceremony on October 6.

Under the direction of Brian Jones, the Middle School and High School Chorus teacher, this special group of performers worked tirelessly since the beginning of September to prepare “This Is Me” written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, which many may recognize from the hit movie “The Greatest Showman.”

“It brings attention to the lights in a different light,” said Morgan Vacca, a senior at Canton High School who has been a member of Chamber Singers since 7th grade.

Lights on Canton has been raising money for two years to buy stadium lights for the track. The committee was finally able to raise enough money to buy the lights last summer, and they were ready for use at the beginning of this year. This ceremony was meant to bring the entire Canton community together to celebrate the new lights and togetherness.

“This was the first time we have ever had singers on the field. It was so good to see something different!” said Kimberly Marze, a member of the Executive Committee for Lights on Canton.

Both Canton Chambers groups have always been an integral part of special school functions, from singing the National Anthem at Game Day, to being the highlight of many school chorus concerts singing interesting and entertaining selections. It only made sense to include a performance by the groups at such a significant event.

This celebration also helped to show the community how intertwined Canton High School really is. Most high schools have very segregated athletic and music departments, but because there is such a small student body, most musicians also participate in athletics.

Community members in attendance were able to get “the sense that the music department is supporting athletics and the overall betterment of the community,” said Sarah Marze, a senior member of Chamber Singers.

However, this performance also showcased another important relationship: the one between the Middle School and High School Chamber Singers.

These groups are two distinct ensembles, and rarely ever joined forces up until a few years ago. In Vacca’s experiences, the younger choir was always treated as a lesser ensemble because it was “less exclusive” due to the different levels of auditions required to join each group.

But in preparation for this event, “we had one rehearsal together as a combined group,” recalled Marze.

That’s when many members of the older group, realized that the middle school group is very talented, and, in fact, are not “lesser than” the more exclusive high school group. Many high school members, especially Vacca, took this experience as an opportunity to bond with everyone. “It made it seem more like a team and a family,” she said.

One thing is for sure about the lights dedication, it brought many different groups together and succeed in connecting many different aspects of the community.

“Togetherness is key,” Marze said. “More voices is always better.”