- Wilson's Perch
The Highland High School choirs are part of a thriving performing arts department. Encompassing six choirs, eight bands, five orchestras and serving more than 700 students daily, the music department continues to strive for excellence and musicianship in our ensembles. Our students are some of the busiest on campus, involving themselves in sports, student council, honor societies, clubs, and upper level academics. The 200 singers in the choral program are supported by two directors, a terrific school administration, and great parents. We encourage you to explore, get involved, and support the music program at Highland High School. Welcome!
The backbone of the Highland High choir department, Concert Choir is composed of 55 auditioned juniors, seniors, and select sophomores with at least a year of prior choral singing experience. Concert Choir studies advanced SATB repertoire of all types and tours annually, as well as participates in local and out of state festivals, consistently earning superior ratings. In its 14 year life, the choir has performed at such prestigious venues as the 1998 National MENC conference, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, and Carnegie Hall in 2007. Visit the “Auditorium” to hear audio recordings of any of the Highland Choirs!
Advanced Vocal Ensemble is comprised of between 16 and 20 singers drawn from Concert Choir's membership. This choir studies advanced chamber music from all time periods, as well as vocal jazz. AVE tours with Concert Choir each year, as well as participates in the annual Northern Arizona University Jazz/Madrigal Festival in February.
The Advanced Women's Choir is comprised of between 30 and 40 mostly sophomore women. This intermediate choir provides a bridge between the beginning choirs and the Concert Choir, and allows the young female singer to more fully develop her musical and vocal abilities. This choir studies advanced literature written for women's voices and participates regularly in local festivals, consistently earning superior ratings.
Chorale is a mixed ensemble of between 40 and 50 singers. It's membership is composed mostly of freshman, or those students with a limited musical or choral background. This class focuses on intermediate SATB literature, as well as building vocal technique and basic musicianship skills.
Women's Chorale is a treble choir of approximately 25-30 mostly freshman girls. Like Chorale, this chorus focuses on building musicianship and developing vocal technique, but through SSA literature.
Men'sChorale is a male ensemble drawn from the membership of Chorale and Concert Choir, but is also open to any male on campus wishing to sing. Starting in the second quarter of the year, Men's Chorale meets during lunch and after school and performs at each concert. Men's Chorale also tours to the elementary schools and Highland Junior High each spring.
A native of Freeport, Illinois, Rita Scholz is in her 15th year as director of choirs at HHS. She has taught in the Gilbert district since 1982. Prior to Highland, Ms. Scholz was the choral director at Gilbert High School. She has also been on the faculty of the School for Music Vocations in Creston, Iowa, Phoenix College, and is currently adjunct choral faculty member at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Ms. Scholz holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northern Arizona University and Master's Degree in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University. She has held offices with the American Choral Directors Association, Vocal Jazz Chair for Choral Directors of Arizona, and is a MENC nationally certified music educator. She was the recipient of NAU's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989, the O.M. Harsel “Excellence in Teaching” award in 1995, and the ACDA Outstanding Choral Educator Award in 2000. Ms. Scholz is active as a choral/vocal jazz conductor and clinician in the Southwest.
Highland High School is a nationally recognized secondary institution, earning the National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Award for academic success and annually achieving the state's Excelling School label. We have some of the finest academic, performing arts, career/technology and athletic programs anywhere in the country. Graduates of Highland High School are recruited by some of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. The accolades earned by our students and faculty are numerous. Dedication and commitment to every student is the goal of our highly skilled and professional faculty and staff. Visit the HHS Website here, or click on the Hawk at the top of any page!