Music; The Heart Of North High


If you were to walk through the performing arts hallway of North High after school, you could see many interesting things; like theater students practicing monologues, to band and orchestra with their beautiful melodies. Choir, something that sticks out greatly because of it’s impressive array of unique voices, has a program called City Voices.

 Mary Anne Sims, head of the City Voices program, explained it’s purpose; “It’s a program that offers free individual voice lessons for kids who could not otherwise afford them. The goal in City Voices is to provide access for these students to have music opportunities they would not normally have available. Like solos, advanced choirs, musicals, etc”.

Because of its success with its students, City Voices has grown considerably since it was started.

City Voices has four teachers -plus me- and we have about 45 students, 32 at North, 6 at Hoover, and 7 at Roosevelt”. Many of these students are from our school because it was founded at North.

Anyone that participates is involved with music at their school and wants to get better, but can’t afford private study. North has more students participating because they started the program this summer and knew how it worked, and that it would help the choir program. People benefit from it because it gives them self confidence, and opens up possibilities after high school for potential college scholarships. Also, research says that when kids are involved in this kind of extracurricular activity, particularly in the arts, they are more likely to stay involved with school, and actually more likely to graduate. It also helps build the quality of high school choirs. And I think you can see that at North. And last, it gives the student a sense that they have to work hard, and that if they do work hard they will see results. That carries over into their other classes as well.”

Sophomore, Cameron James, a popular choir student stated, “I started taking voice lessons so I could get better with my voice and I wanted to find something to do that was positive instead of staying home doing nothing, and City Voice has helped me to expand my vocal range”.

Senior, Kenya Williams explains her favorite and least favorite part of the program, “Ms. Sims pushes you to your limit and she makes you bring out your all and that’s what helps me. What I don’t like is how short [the lessons] are. My favorite thing is being comfortable and focusing on what you’re doing right so next time you come, you already know what to do and your just working on getting better on to the next step”.

City Voices is a great opportunity to study and improve your knowledge about the art of music for anyone involved in vocal music. As Vanessa Brady, our own choir director says “Theres nothing more exiting than students finding their own voices”.

My name is Mary Anne Jose Maria Geraldo Takarssqwa Sims or maybe just Mary Anne Sims”

— Mary Anne Sims