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‘It’s soulful’: Horton High School hits all the right notes with Glee Club


GREENWICH, N.S. —

Thursdays are Kay Greene’s favourite day of the week.

The Horton High School music teacher wakes up and feels excited. She knows it’s Glee Club rehearsal day with her students after school.

The club has brought her and a tight-knit group of students together at the school, where they pair complex harmonies with dance routines and work together to sing music to life.

“You step outside yourself and the group and just hear it, it’s like, ‘wow, that’s a real song, and it’s coming from us,’” says club member Jillie Richard.

The club is a longstanding one at the school but is an ever-evolving combination of personalities and sounds that is unique every year.

They act as their own backing band in acapella renditions of songs like ‘Some Nights’ by band un., and ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen as they sing the melody and backing harmonies, and replace instruments.

It’s a process that entails learning the music by heart and adding a physical routine and harmonies on top of it.

With harmonies often including six different parts, it takes time.

But when they nail it, the sound stops them in their tracks.

“It’s silence, and then we start singing, and it’s the song,” says club member Estee Gerrits.

“It’s pretty cool we can make a whole song with just ourselves.”

Max Miller and Joel MacBain Martin (front) sing their harmonies as the group rehearses ‘Some Nights’ by the band fun. Miller says the group is unique because “We all like to be here, and we all like to sing.”
Max Miller and Joel MacBain Martin (front) sing their harmonies as the group rehearses ‘Some Nights’ by the band fun. Miller says the group is unique because “We all like to be here, and we all like to sing.”

Most of this year’s club members have performed together before in choirs and musicals, and they all share classes at the school.

They love their club so much that it can be hard to focus on other subjects, especially when the number of them in the same class is large.

“We spent last class in French watching the choreography for this and listening to songs. Maybe I shouldn’t mention that,” laughs Sophie van Exel.

They repeat the songs and moves again, and again, and again, and eventually get them down. They say it comes down to muscle memory and having a good ear, but it might be something more.

It might be something inexplicable that creates a sound describable only through feeling.

Jane Ponikvar, Jillie Richard and Estee Gerrits sing separate harmonies in unison during their Thursday rehearsal.
Jane Ponikvar, Jillie Richard and Estee Gerrits sing separate harmonies in unison during their Thursday rehearsal.

“It’s soulful. Everyone melts into it, and you can see out in the audience, people just closing their eyes,” says Jacob Kent.

It’s the feeling of having found a group of peers that gets what it means to make music.

And it’s something they know is a rare find.

“It’s like a team of people who are like me,” says Max Miller, as his club members laugh but nod in agreement.

“We all like to be here, and we all like to sing.”

Sara.Ericsson@kingscountynews.ca

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