Melding their passions of music and theater with their love for the Lord, a group of students calling themselves Grace Note banded together to form Faulkner’s first ever student-led show choir.
Emerging during a time when events and activities were being cancelled one after another, Grace Note filled the void and provided an outlet for students to do what they love: perform.
Playing off the name of the musical notation, grace note, the group chose its name for its literal ties to music composition as well as its allegorical reference to grace.
“Grace note is a type of musical term, but because it has grace in the name, it also points to the grace we find as Christians in Jesus Christ, since we are a singing group at a Christian school,” said Angelina Guilbert, the organizer of Grace Note. “We’re all about Jesus so it all tied in.”
Show choir performances have surged in popularity with the hit television drama, Glee. Typically, show choir combines song and harmony with fun and synchronized choreography and the art is becoming more and more common in school competitions.
Guilbert loved singing and theater in high school and wanted to continue those interests when she enrolled at Faulkner. Although she joined the Faulkner Chorus, she also wanted to form a group that could perform more contemporary songs and pull in her love of the stage. The group currently has nearly a dozen members. Her hope is to grow the group in order to perform larger skits, similar to those found in popular Broadway musicals.
“There were a lot of chorus members, band members and also my friends who were interested in this type of singing and who shared my love of theater,” Guilbert said. “We were looking to do something different. Show choir is not like a regular choir. We move around on stage, use props and incorporate some theatrics.”
Finding a place like Faulkner where she was encouraged to boldly proclaim her faith while also exploring her interests was what first appealed to Guilbert when coming to campus.
A native of Athens, Alabama, Guilbert came to Faulkner after her mom heard about the university and encouraged her to visit campus.
“The campus and everyone I met here just exemplified a Christ-like manner and I knew this was the place I wanted to go,” Guilbert said.
Since Grace Note is student-organized, they schedule their own practice times, pick their own songs and brainstorm their own choreography. However, they do have a faculty sponsor, Faulkner’s Marching Eagles Band Director, Dr. Stephen Foster.
“Angelina approached me in the past year talking about starting a show choir because it’s a different kind of music they can’t get anywhere else on campus,” Foster said. “Students need opportunities to express themselves in as many ways as possible. A show choir gives them variety in genre.”
“I told her if she got a group together, I would help them get the music and let them sing in our regularly scheduled concerts,” he added.
Guilbert gathered a group from those already singing with her in the chorus and who were interested and excited about branching out into other genres of music. They debuted at the Swingin’ Eagles Sweetheart Concert where they got the crowd involved by tossing a beach ball into the audience.
They have since performed in the Faulkner Spring Concert as well as at Homecoming.
The group is looking forward to expanding this year. Grace Note is open to anyone on campus who is interested in joining. They are also accepting any interested musicians.
Email Guilbert for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org