Seniors’ Biographies 2012
Samantha Chamberlin: Bella Voce, Show Choir, DoReMigas, Chorus Publicity, District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society I will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall, majoring in business. The choral piece I most enjoyed was, “I Thank You God,” because the whole chorus enjoyed singing it together and we connected through the piece. My most memorable choir moments were the thousands and thousands of hours spent on Broadway Night rehearsals. I’d like to give a “Shout Out” to Mrs. G for being like a mom and not giving up ever – having the most passion for what she does out of anyone I have ever known. Thanks to my Mom and Dad for supporting me in everything I do. I Love you!
Rachel Claessen: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, DoReMigas, Section Leader, Tri-M Music Honor Society I am going to Longwood University to major in Elementary Education. When I graduate, I want to become a teacher and inspire children to do their best. The choral piece I enjoyed performing the most was “Hide and Seek” during my junior year. It was a piece that everyone connected to, it touched us all in different ways. When we walked on stage nothing else was important, just the music and our emotions. Everyone in the audience could feel our emotions and it made them connect to the song as well. It is one of my favorite songs and I’m happy I had the chance to perform it. My most memorable choir moment was after Bella Voce performed at VMEA. It took a lot of hard work to get our music memorized, a lot of time out of our days to get everything else perfect. The moment we all started singing, it was like we’ve been singing the music for years and we rocked it! As soon as we were out of the performance space, everyone was overjoyed and hugging. We were so happy because of our accomplishment . All of our hard work paid off. It was one of the best feelings, I’m so grateful that I got to share it with Mrs. G and all of my friends. I would like to give a shout out to all of my friends and family! I wouldn’t be where I am today with out all of you! I love you and I’m so grateful for all of you!
Kathryn (Katie) Danaher: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, District Chorus I am going to Indiana University of Pennsylvania to study Culinary Arts. Once I complete my time at IUP, I will go into the industry or pursue a degree in Culinary Arts Management or Hospitality Management. I related to “I Thank You God” more than any song we’ve sung. I remember singing it and as soon as we finished, the room was silent, it made me speechless. My most memorable choir moment was Freshmen year in New York. South Lakes Singers was singing “Prayer of the Children” in the church, and the acoustics were unbelievable. I remember feeling so moved everytime they sang it and I hoped one day I could be part of a song like that. I’d like to thank my mom, dad, and brother for always being there and supporting me. Even though they weren’t here to see my Senior year, I’d like to thank my grandfathers, Dale and Jim, for being nothing but proud of me. I’d like to thank my grandmothers, Nancy and Mary, for always supporting me and being proud of me no matter what I do. I’d also like to give a shout out to my best friends Brandy Harrison, Sarah Herring, and Rachel Claessen for being there for me no matter what and accepting me for who I am. I love you guys!
Sarah Delaney: Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, Tri-M Music Honor Society I will play volleyball and study International Relations/Business or Polysci at JMU. During my junior year in Bella Voce, we sang “The Snow”, my favorite piece. My most memorable choir moment was at the Rainforest Cafe with most of the seniors, Mrs. G and her husband, Frank, and a chaperone, Christine Gambrel, we pretended it was my 19th birthday and our waiter brought out a volcano chocolate cake and sang to me, it was cool. I’d like to offer much love and peace to everyone.
Alex (Young AG) Graves: Men’s Camerata, Chamber Singers, Student Director SMAC, Section Leader After high school I will I will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business. The choral piece I most enjoyed performing was “Fix You”, during the 2011 SingStrong competition, because that piece is so powerful. We won SingStrong that year! My memorable choir moment was when no one believed Men’s Camerata could get all 1’s at Festival but we proved them wrong! I’d like to give a “Shout Out” to Mrs. G for putting up with my crazy booty for 4 whole years.
Brandy (Brandifiliciousness) Harrison: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Section Leader After high school I will be going to Kent State University. The choral piece I most enjoyed performing was “Hide and Seek”, because all of our advanced ensembles were together and we sounded great. There are too many memorable choir moments to count. I’d like to give a “Shout Out” to my mommy, I love you so much.
Sarah Herring: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce After high school I am going to go to Radford University. The choral piece I most enjoyed performing was “I Thank You God” by Gwyneth Walker. We connected to it very well and it was so pretty. I also loved the way the piano sounded and how much emotion we put into it. My most memorable choir moment was when Performing at VMEA (Virginia Music Educators Association) because it was an amazing opportunity and rewarded us for the wonderful music we had made for the past two years. While we were rehearsing and actually singing at the conference we became a big family and bonded so much. I would like to thank my parents and my sisters for always supporting me and never telling me to give up when I felt like I couldn’t do something as well as everyone else. <3 I would also like to thank all of my friends because without them life wouldn’t be as much fun(:.
Katie Horlacher: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, Show Choir, DoReMigas, Chorus Publicity District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society After high school I plan to attend James Madison University. I am considering majoring in business or management with a possible minor in journalism although I am still trying to decide! I plan on staying involved with music by either taking music classes or joining an a cappella group. My favorite choral piece was “I Thank You God” because of the powerful chords and the message it conveyed. One of my favorite moments was my first time at SingStrong. I couldn’t believe that there was such an amazing event happening right in the Little Theatre, at my school. I plan on coming back to the event next year because each year it gets bigger and better and it is all for a great cause! I also loved being involved with Broadway Night each year because it gave me the chance to learn how to perform as an actress and a singer.I would love to give a shout out firstly to my AMAZING choir director, Rita Gigliotti, for giving me so many memorable, enriching experiences and for making me feel passionate about singing and music. I also would like to give a shout out to my parents and grandparents for encouraging me to be involved with music at a very young age and for pushing me to stick with it! I also want to give a huge shout out to all of my beautiful friends I’ve made through choir. We’ve had our laughs, struggles, and have all been able to share our talents together which is really special. Lastly I want to give a shout out to the chorus PCA members who have made every event and trip possible at our school. I will miss choir next year so much but I can’t wait to come back as an alumni to see all of the hard work South Lakes choir has been doing! Love you all!
Vicky Howard: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Student Ambassador, Section Leader, District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Esprit de Coeur: 2010-2011 After high school, I will be going to Texas Tech University. I will be majoring in either International Relations or Business, and I will be definitely be minoring in French. I really enjoyed performing “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” in Broadway Night 2011. The song dealt with Eliza Doolittle’s wish for a better life and positive things in life. I felt connected to the character and the song. My most memorable choir moment was the Bella Voce performance at VMEA. We all worked extremely hard on our music for three months and all that work paid off in Norfolk. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to perform at this conference my senior year. For me, VMEA was the moment when I truly felt a part of chorus and I knew that I had a special place in Bella Voce. I want to thank Mrs. G for being so dedicated and for inspiring me to always have music in my life. Lastly, I want to thank my Mum, Dad and my brother Chris for always supporting me in everything I do.
Alexandria Humphries: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce After high school I am going to Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. My favorite choral piece was “God Be In My Head”. This is because the whole choir held hands during it and at that moment I really felt connected to God and to the choir. My most memorable choir moment was our rehearsal for VMEA the night we got there. We were all so exhausted and then at the end Ms. G gave us our “VMEA Survival Kits” and cheered everyone up. I would like to give a special thanks to my parents, Ms. Galanti, and Ms. Gigliotti for always believing in me.
Phenan Kidane: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, DoReMigas, Music Librarian After high school I will be going to college to major in International Relations. The choral piece I most enjoyed was singing “How Can I Keep from Singing” because I really enjoyed singing with the whole choir on my first trip to New York. The song was fun to sing and I really enjoyed the message of it because it is true that singing is always a comfort in any difficult situation. My most memorable choir moment was the day before Festival when we had a rehearsal and I was worried about our performance the next day. Ms.G told us before we left that if we sang from our hearts, that we would never be wrong, and that really stuck with me because if you believe in your own abilities you’ll never let anyone tell you aren’t good enough. That was one of my most memorable moments because we really bonded in that moment and did well, because we had the confidence to do so. I would like to give a special thanks to my parents for always supporting me- thank you both J and South Lakes for supporting the choir program, because it has been such a large part of my high school experience. Shout out to Ms.G for all her hard work-thank you for everything!
Ariana (Ari) Kruszewski: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, Show Choir, DoReMigas, Chorus President, Chorus Secretary, Student Director DoReMigas, Section Leader, District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society Next year I will be studying Musical Theatre at American University. The choral piece I most enjoyed performing was the Bella Voce and Chamber Singers collaboration on the a cappella “Hide and Seek” arrangement. The arrangement was so well done and the two ensembles made an incredible sound together. My most memorable choir moment would have to be having the chance to perform at the AAPD Gala in Washington, D.C. It was such a great experience meeting new people and getting to represent South Lakes Choir at such an important event. I would like to thank my parents and my brother for being such an incredible source of support, inspiration, and their seemingly endless amount of generosity and patience over the past four years. I would like to give a shout out to all of the incredible friends I have made in my years of chorus. The chorus family has been such a huge part of my experience at South Lakes and I can thank them for many of my fondest high school memories. Lastly, I would like to thank Mrs. G for all that she has done for me throughout my high school career. I have encountered no other teacher in my time at South Lakes High School that has provided me with so many opportunities to learn and grow. Mrs. G’s determination and her dedication to the excellence of her students has been truly inspirational. I would like to thank her for making the chorus department a ‘home away from home’ that has shaped my high school life. I’m so proud to be a chorus kid!
Anne-Marie Lloyd: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, Show Choir, DoReMigas, Student Ambassador, Section Leader, District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society I will attend The University of Virginia, double Majoring in Music and Computer Science. I plan to be active in a cappella, musical theater, and performances on and off campus. Music will be a huge part of my life. I will never forget performing “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre, at District Chorus. I felt privileged to sing with other talented students under the direction of Dr. Slon. This piece was a turning point in my choir career. The intricate chords, dynamic contrast and the captivating text were incredibly rewarding to perform. My favorite moment from choir was just after Chamber Singers had finished singing “Fix You” by Coldplay, at Singstrong. Our bonding from rehearsals paid off with a great performance. It was so special to see how much the audience appreciated our rendition, some even moved to tears. This powerful memory will always be with me. (And it didn’t hurt that we won 1st place:). I want to thank my mom, Suzanne Marletto, always supportive of me, helping me through the tough times, and being encouraging. Mrs. O’Brien has been like a second mom to me, at Broadway Night rehearsals, and regular choral events, she would relay messages from my mom to me, and bring me Subway sandwiches!!! And, Mrs. G., I appreciate everything you do, and I’ve grown a lot in the time that I’ve had you as a teacher.
Allison McCluskey: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, DoReMigas Tri-M Historian, Section Leader, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Bel Canto I am going to the College of William and Mary. My major is undecided but I am sure that music will play a role in my university education! I think that “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap was one of the most moving performances I’ve taken part in. The harmonies were so rich and deep that you couldn’t help but get emotionally involved while singing. It was perfect for a big group because the harmonic complexity and message really came out. This beautifully composed piece of music was a joy to perform. The performance of “Fix You” my junior year with Chamber Singers, was my favorite choir moment. We all sang with deep emotion, I think that every one of us ended up crying. After we finished, we took a minute backstage to absorb the moment – it was pretty amazing to have that sort of connection through such incredible music, for such a good cause, and at such a powerful event as SingStrong. (Winning the high school competition wasn’t too bad either.). Thank you most of all to ReeGee – you talked me through the hard times and kept me singing through the good ones. Mom, Dad, and Beth – thank you for putting up with long rehearsal hours. To my chorus girls – I love and will miss you all, especially our spontaneous jam sessions!
Sarah Jane Mendoza: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, DoReMigas, SMAC, Student Director SMAC I will attend UNC at Pembroke, and major in Biology. I plan to enter their nursing program. I enjoyed many of the pieces performed by my ensemble during my high school years. Each was special and had a special meaning to me, but the latest one would be “God be in my Head” performed at VMEA, I felt like it brought us all together as an ensemble, as a family. We went through a lot during this journey, but at the end were all successful and happy with our performance. I will definitely miss singing with the girls in Bella Voce and working with Mrs. G. She literally is our second mom! First of all, I would like to thank Mrs. Gigliotti for being so patient with all of us and for always being so supportive. Thank you to all the parents who are always there to help and support us all. I also want to say thank you so much to all the teachers and students, especially to the class of 2012 at South Lakes for making my all four years of high school so memorable. If I had a chance to attend high school all over again, I would definitely attend this school again in a heartbeat. So good luck to everyone and again, thank you guys so much!! Also, shout out to my SMAC boys, I will miss you guys and I love you all! :).
Lindsey Most: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Show Choir, DoReMigas, Student Ambassador I am going to be attending Virginia Tech in the fall. My favorite song that I got to sing was “Hide and Seek.” I liked that we combined Bella Voce and Chamber Singers together as one choir. I also really liked that it was a current song, so the audience enjoyed it just as much as we did. My most memorable choir moment was always the class period after a concert, the whole class would all be so relieved because we’d performed so well. We would all relax a little and just listen to the recordings, amazed that it turned out so well. I’d like to thank Mrs. G especially, because she really does put her whole heart into her students. Without her we wouldn’t be able to get 1’s at festival or even function as a class. She makes us a family.
Taylor (tmurph) Murphy: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Student Ambassador, Tri-M Music Honor Society After high school I will attend George Mason University. I plan to major in Nursing so I can work in the ER. My favorite piece was “Hide and Seek” because I really enjoyed coming together as a large ensemble, and how we all sounded combined. It was a very challenging piece, but it came together very well, and it was nice to be able to sing a song that we all listened to on our iPods or iPhones. My most memorable choir moment was when Bella Voce went to VMEA. I was so proud of all the work we put in as an ensemble and just the fact that we worked so hard for two years to get there. I felt really accomplished considering I was in the ensemble since the first tapes were sent. It was a great bonding experience for all of us. Shout out to my mom and dad for putting up with me all through HS, I know it wasn’t easy. Shout out to Momma G! She really put up with me <3. And a special thanks to everyone I have met through my HS career here at South Lakes. I have grown and matured from everyone I have met, and I’ve made long lasting friendships.
Brittany Newman: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Tri-M Music Honor Society I plan on attending the University of Oklahoma in the fall of this year. My goal is to major in meteorology and attain a job based around research rather than broadcast meteorology. The choral piece I enjoyed performing the most would have to be “Hide and Seek.” It was such a challenging song but everyone worked hard together and everyone enjoyed the piece. “Hide and Seek” was such a pleasure to sing. A memorable choir moment is always at the end of a performance, there is a large sense of unity and pride. Everyone in the group is proud of the performance the group has given, and that’s a feeling that cannot be forgotten. The unity is what makes choir like a big family. I have made so many friends in choir that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’d like to give a “Shout Out” to my family for supporting me every step of the way. If not for them, I would not be who I am today. I have to give a special thanks to Mrs. Gigliotti, for pushing me to do things I would never have done otherwise. Lastly to all my choir peers who have been so supportive and have made my years in choir so memorable. Thank you so much for a great few years!
Isabel (Izzy) Oliver: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, DoReMigas, Music Librarian, Tri-M Music Honor Society After high school I will I plan to attend James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design, with a focus in video production. “Hide and Seek” was my favorite song that I’ve performed in chorus because it is a beautiful song, which was arranged really well, and our whole ensemble was totally committed to it. My most memorable chorus moment was during our sophomore year when our class had a surprise party for Mrs G. for her birthday, which is on Christmas. It was so great to see her so happy and it made me feel good that we helped make her birthday special! I would like to thank my mom for helping me stay on top of things, driving me to endless rehearsals, and being so supportive and generally awesome. I would also like to thank Mrs. G for not accepting anything from us but our best, being an amazingly patient teacher, and for the astonishing amount of work and energy she puts into our choral program year after year.
Timothy (Timmie) Rawlins: Men’s Camerata, SMAC After high school I will I will be going to Emory & Henry college. The choral piece I most enjoyed performing was “Tshosholoza” it is a not only a wonderful piece, but our choir really got into the spirit of the song, more so than any other piece that we ever preformed. It really had a special feel to it whenever we would sing it, be it during a rehearsal or during a concert. A few memorable moments come to mind, the three most prominent ones: performing in SMAC, meeting Mrs. G’s parents during SingStrong, and singing Tshosholoza on Space Mountain in Disneyworld with Levi, Matt, and Mauro. I would like to thank Mrs. G for working so hard for the entirety of the choir.
Abigail (Abby) Reed: Women’s Chorale, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, DoReMigas Chorus Historian, Student Director DoReMigas, Spirit Leader District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society After high school I will be attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut. I plan on playing Lacrosse there as a Cardinal and studying Biology and neuroscience and behavior. My favorite choral piece we performed has to be “Hide and Seek”. It was one of the most unique contemporary songs I have ever tried to learn. I loved this song because it was a perfect balance of challenge and intrigue. This piece was my favorite because it had haunting chords that stuck with me, and the lyrics intensified the emotion it carried. The fact that we managed to pull it off is a real testament to the talent and persistence of our choral department, and was amazing that over 50 singers could match the intensity of interpretation. My most memorable moments were all on our spring trips. The trip to Nashville was the most fun of all. The spring trips are the best because to me they are such a good experience to get to know your friends better, as while as an opportunity to see new places. This year we went to Disney and it was incredibly fun! I also like the trips because it is fun to see Mrs. G in a more casual venue. I’ve gotten to know her better after each trip.I would like to thank my parents for consistently supporting me in all my passions, my dad for giving me the love of choir and my mom for teaching me to never give up or let down when its something you love. I also want to thank my 2nd mom : RITA G! I can’t express in words how much Mrs. G has done for me, my class and the entire chorus department. Chorus is my sanctuary, and in my busy IB/test/project filled life I know how lucky I am to have a place like the chorus room and a teacher like Mrs. G to come to. I also want to give a special thanks to Mrs. Ottman and Mrs. O’Brien for all their dedication and time- Thank you to Mrs. Scheler for being incredible and taking care of our uniforms for our trip this year, and thank you to Mrs. Kruszewski and Christine Gambrel for all the quality time spend on the Spring trips. Chorus has created some of the most fondest and lasting memories of my high school years-thank you all so much. Also- heyy DoReMigas- I love you all and will be back at SingStrong to cheer you on next year!
Jasmine Ryder: Women’s Chorale, Show Choir I am going to NOVA to get an Associates Degree in Culinary Management then going to Culinary Institute of Virginia for a Bachelors Degree. I loved performing “Where Is the Love” by the Black-Eyed Peas, Sophomore year, because it was a fun song that everyone enjoyed performing. Everyone had a chance to do what they wanted to contribute, to make the piece fun. Many things that have gone on during chorus have been memorable, but the most memorable moments have been during the show choir performances. We always goofed during practice, but in the end the joy of performing on stage, always paid off. I’d like to give a “Shout Out” to my parents who had to put up with my fickle decisions, Mrs. G who helped me become a better singer in the three years i have been here, and all my friends who have been supportive of me all these years.
Kyle Sather: Men’s Camerata, Chamber Singers, Section Leader, Bel Canto, Improvement in Musicianship After I graduate I will be spending the next year with AmeriCorps and then moving on to college following that year. My favorite piece that I sang during my time at South Lakes was “The Dream Isaiah Saw”. I liked this piece because it was an extremely powerful and it was terrific to get to sing with the band. My most memorable choir moment was the trip that Chamber Singers took to The University of Maryland. The trip was an amazing experience, and it was great to work with so many talented singers and directors. I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and helping me with whatever I needed, and Mrs. G for all of the hard work that she does every day to help the chorus function.
Jonathan (J-Spring) Springfield: Men’s Camerata, Chamber Singers, SMAC, Section Leader, Maestro Award After high school I will I will be going to Virginia Tech, where I will be majoring in Engineering and hopefully minoring in Music. The choral piece I most enjoyed performing was “Elijah Rock” the most. We sang this song our freshman year and I always enjoyed singing the piece because the bass section had a deep booming sound while the parts on top often had fast paced themes that continually grew in strength. I would have to say that my most memorable choir moment was when we sang Coldplay’s “Fix You”, my junior year, at SingStrong in the high school competition and then got to sing it again as an opener! I would like to give a special shout out to my private piano teacher Mrs. Christian who has helped me so much to further myself, not only in piano, but also in music theory and performance.
Kelsie Zipprich: Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, DoReMigas, Chorus Vice President, District Chorus, Tri-M Music Honor Society I will attend the University of Virginia in the fall. As of now, my major is undecided but I will pursue music by becoming involved in various ensembles in college. I most enjoyed performing the song “I Thank You God” in Bella Voce, Sophomore year. The song was so moving and the harmonies were beautiful! The song had a special meaning to everyone and our class loved the song which made it even more enjoyable to perform. It’s very hard to choose only one memorable moment from all four years in choir. There are so many! But, the Disney trip was certainly one to remember! Also, the time when Bella Voce gave Mrs.G a surprise birthday party. She was so happy and she even cried! I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and for coming to every chorus event and concert. I would also like to thank Mrs.G for a tremendous high school choral experience which I will never forget. These past four years have been so meaningful and chorus has been such a big part of that. Also, shout out to Chamber Singers. Thanks for a great year guys and keep on singing!