FHC’s choirs find many new adventures and opportunities in Disney World


Eager FHC students attentively watch choir director Sean Ivory, waiting for their cue to begin. With a flick of his wrist, the chorus of voices begins with clear precision and pitch. Among the crowd is senior Amanda Riffe. As she listens to the group, the complete harmony strikes her as nothing short of incredible.

“Choir is all about unity,” Amanda said. “The fact that 70+ people are all saying the same words, saying them at the same pitch, and with the same inflection is unique to choir. Everyone is pulling in the same direction, and everyone is using the same instrument.”

Through Amanda’s eyes, this is the magic of choir. After doing choir for six years, she believes that part of that magic comes from how close-knit the group has become through camaraderie and helping each other on their music journey.

“Music has always been what I am most passionate about, so being able to channel that part of myself during my school day is so special,” Amanda said. “I honestly believe that music brings people together in an incredibly unique way. As a group, we truly care for one another and have so much fun being ourselves. Having an hour in my day that allows me to relax and express myself is why I have never given up on the class.”

Many students in choir, including Amanda, are drawn to choir because it’s unconventional, and because of that, many hope to further their music career in one way or another. So after countless hours of rehearsing, FHC’s choirs are again able to go to Disney World in Florida to both strengthen their abilities and also encourage them.

“As students, it is so important that we learn beyond these four walls of FHC,” Amanda said. “Any opportunity to expand my worldview will only make me a more well-rounded person. This isn’t just a fun trip but also a great chance to dive deeper into the possible career opportunities for musicians.”

In concordance with Amanda, Ivory also hopes that the trip will provide each individual with learning experiences while possibly sparking a greater awareness and interest in that industry.

“My hope is that this trip will open up a world of possibilities to FHC students,” Ivory said. “Disney World attracts some of the world’s best talents, and we will have lots of time to interact with them, experiencing what this level of professionalism looks like. I hope it is inspiring to my students.”

While they are there over the long weekend, FHC students will have a variety of activities which will be key in educating them about the field. They’ll get to perform at Disney Spring for visitors of Disney World to showcase their abilities. Another opportunity they have is doing a clinic with Disney musicians where they will learn music, record a soundtrack to a short Disney film, and prepare a choreographed dance number.

For Amanda, this performing aspect of the trip will be the most interesting part, as there will be plenty of opportunities for growth.

“We going to clinics that feature Disney singers which gives us an opportunity to see someone who is actually in the industry,” Amanda said. “I love hearing their advice and applying it to my own, individual music journey.”

Another member of the choir is junior Sam Boezwinkle, and for him, he views this trip as a way to push himself out of his comfort zone.

“I hope to learn a lot from the clinic and the performance itself,” Sam said. “It’s not a normal concert for us, where everyone sits quietly and watches us. This is a concert where lots of little children will be watching us and doing other things. It’s our job to entertain children that are very difficult to impress at that age.”

Although the performance, along with other parts, may be challenging, Sam is looking forward to growing closer to his peers through this trip and seeing later the difference it makes for the group.

“I feel like the trip will really help me create new bonds with people I wouldn’t have normally talked to,” Sam said. “As a whole, the group will become a lot tighter with the performances we have and the time we spend together. Mr. Ivory is an incredible teacher, and the friendships I’ve made through choir have really impacted my time in high school.”

Perhaps the person most excited about the trip is Ivory himself though, as traveling with his students is a such a gift to him, and he is consistently blown away by his students and their abilities. That’s truly the wonder of choir; everyone combines their talents and abilities to make something truly beautiful.

“I am blessed to teach a group of wonderful people,” Ivory said, “and going to Disney World together is a chance for us to bond with each other even further. I am always impressed with how students behave and handle themselves on this trip. I have never been disappointed and have remained proud of each of them.”