Chorus and Fidelio Singers Celebrate “Last Firsts” at Family Weekend Concert

Donning black dresses and dark suits, the voices of Andover’s Academy Chorus and Fidelio Chamber Society echoed through Cochran Chapel. Held on Saturday, October 15, the concert program brought together pieces reflecting on childhood, love, and togetherness. Singer Caroline McGirt ’23 described the performance as bittersweet, as her “last first” Chorus concert of the year.

“I love the sense of community that chorus has given me here. It is my senior year. It is my last year, so this is my last first concert of high school, so this really meant a lot to me, and it was my actual first performance here at Phillips Academy,” said McGirt.

According to McGirt, this concert was especially significant for her; it was the first concert she performed in after a hiatus last year due to vocal nodes. McGirt shared that she appreciated her mother’s supportive presence at the concert.
“I was very excited for her to come watch because she has been my muse ever since I was younger. My mother is also Soprano 1; her and her entire family have been performing ever since she was young, so I grew up singing in many different choirs…It really meant a lot for my mom to be here to hear that,” said McGirt.
The timing of the Family Weekend Concert, an annual tradition, is particularly notable because singers have the opportunity to perform in front of loved ones. Fidelio member Amina Gorman ’26 commented on how having her family in attendance affected her performance.

“[This concert made me more nervous in a] positive way, because I think that being able to share this with my grandparents made me want to really do good,” said Gorman.

Fidelio and Chorus performed a variety of pieces including “One Heart” by Kevin Siegfried, “Bend” by Kyle Pederson, and Craig Hella Johnson’s “All of Us,” from his oratorio, “Considering Matthew Shepard.” Audience member, Tasha Bohorad ’26 pointed out the concert’s strong harmonies as a standout aspect of the performance.
“I really liked the harmonies because I heard some people, especially the soloists, singing other types of music and it was really cool to see the full range of their talents,” Bohorad said.

During the month of rehearsals leading up to the concert, Chorus and Fidelio strengthened bonds and prepared music. Gorman emphasized the camaraderie between fellow singers, specifically the connection she felt with her peers while performing.

“When we’re onstage, we all get an opportunity to look at each other, and everyone has big smiles on their faces ‘cause they all love the music. I love being able to share that with other people onstage,” said Gorman.