PHS choir s(w)ings into the fall spirit

By Ashley Shah

The Poway High School (PHS) choir will hold its annual Fall Choir Concert Oct. 29 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, at 7 p.m. 

Choir director and teacher Jessica Schemmel is running this year’s concert. Schemmel has been teaching at Poway High School for five years. Before PHS, she taught and directed both high school and elementary music as well as a church choir for many years. 

“The concerts are primarily to demonstrate all the hard work and skills we have been learning in class. It’s different from classes that mainly have written assessments. Our main assessment is the performance. The fundraising is just a bonus, but it does provide tremendous financial support for our program,” Schemmel said. 

This year, the fall concert will feature Concert Choir, a group composed of all grade levels and skills; Women’s Ensemble, which is a group composed of auditioned artists; and Die Lieder Singers, another group composed of auditioned, top artists.

The concert will have many selections of songs.

“It has some songs that evoke the mystery of fall in there. But it’s a variety. We’re doing some really fun pieces and also some mysterious pieces,” Schemmel said. 

Die Lieders will be performing five songs: “Til You Hear,” “I Got a Hog and Pig,” “Harvest,” “Neighbors Chorus,” and “The Dance of Life.” 

“The Die Lieders work extremely hard every class and get so much done to the point where we have learned and perfected five songs. I am so excited to sing ‘Dance for Life’ because it has a different sound and we do a few really cool clap sequences,” Die Lieders member Cassidy Stillwell said. 

The Women’s Ensemble will be singing “El Condor,” “Hexenlied,” “Ain’t no Windin’ in the Road,” and “Mother Please Explain.” 

“I’m really excited about the song ‘Ain’t no Windin’ in the Road’ because it has four parts and when we put them together, it sounds complete and sophisticated. I cannot wait to perform it in concert,” said Women’s Ensemble singer Katelyn Sommer. 

Concert Choir has been working on singing the balcony scene in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Don’t be Seen” and “Yundah.” 

There will be a couple student-directed small groups in the concert that will be chosen upon audition closer to the date of the concert. There will also be a solo part in the Women’s Ensemble that is an auditioned part. 

The choir department has four concerts a year. This upcoming fall concert, a concert in December for the winter and holiday times, a concert in March which is a festival concert that is a contest of music that has a variety of styles like modern, classical and more. In the spring, there will be a themed concert that usually consists of pop or Broadway music. Last year’s spring concert had a country theme. 

The choir department also puts on a musical once a year. This year it will be in February, and the musical is yet to be announced. 

The choir program practices every day in class, as well as the day before the concert to ensure that their performances will run smoothly. 

The concert will last about an hour and a half. Tickets can be purchased online at