Alyssa Russell, choir director, is currently in her second year at PPHS. She previously taught middle school choir in Cabell County and Robeson County, N.C. At PPHS, she teaches piano, music appreciation and high school choir.
She described the choir as becoming very motivated after one of their members qualified for All-State Choir last year. According to Russell, PPHS had not had a choir member qualify for the coveted position in several years.
The choir currently is comprised of 25 students. There is no junior high choir, but Russell said that she intends to start one in the next school year.
“We have 22 in the class and three who rehearse after school on Mondays because they were unable to be in class due to scheduling conflicts,” Russell said. “(The choir) is a great group. All of the kids are talented and dedicated to our success.”
She added that the choir has several goals, including performing more concerts.
“We are moving toward a combined show choir-concert choir,” Russell said. “We did a show choir type show for the spring last year and that will be our competition show this year.
“Hopefully in the future we will be able to have both an auditioned show choir and separate concert choir along with a junior high choir,” she added. “I would love to be able to use our excellent auditorium to host show choir competitions.”
As for upcoming events, the choir is currently planning an open variety show. According to Russell, the choir will open the show and perform songs in the middle and end of the show. The show will include singing, dancing and instrumental numbers. Both student and teacher acts will be featured.
“It’s going to be a wonderful showcase for the talent in our school,” Russell said.
The variety show is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the school’s auditorium. Admission is $4.00 per person and proceeds will be used to purchase uniforms and equipment and pay entry fees for the choir.
The choir also has additional fundraisers scheduled including “Parents Night Out” baby-sitting services on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. Choir members will watch children from ages three to 12 for a fee of $10.00 per child.
Russell stressed the importance of raising money for the choir because it will enable them to expand and do more things.
“It’s difficult getting things off the ground because we quite literally have nothing right now,” she said. “We are making a great deal of progress toward an excellent choir program. I know the community will be seeing great things from us in the future.”