New space offers better acoustics to help Hirschi choir students hone skills

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A locker room. A former aviation classroom. Never in a classroom meant for their class. Year after year, Hirschi High School choir students found themselves in different locations throughout campus for class—into rooms not designed for musical practice.

Those involved in the vocal program at Hirschi High School work hard to prepare their repertoire each year, becoming better musicians and closer friends. Until recently, the singers have had to work in close quarters. With recent renovations, their voices now have more room to grow.

Since arriving in 2005, choir instructor Mineasa Nesbit and her students have been rehearsing in several different places in the school.

“We ended up in one room that used to be aviation some years ago when it was part of the I.B. program. And after that, they needed room for something else and so they renovated another space,” Nesbit said.

That other space was a former locker room, renovated in 2007. For a choir, Nesbit said being in a well-designed room makes a difference.

“Oh, it makes a huge difference. The acoustic value of a room for a choir is like money, for real. Nesbit said. “We have to have that in order to be able to hear ourselves. Otherwise, we are singing so hard, it’s like singing into a brick wall.”

Hirschi High School senior Mikayla Bailey remembers the old and not so ideal space.

“It was bad,” Bailey said. “We had no acoustics. It was really hard to hear us sometimes. We always had to go over everything.”

After several years of discussion and visits from WFISD officials, choir students are rehearsing in the new space, complete with high ceilings, three sound-proof practice rooms and much better acoustics.

“I was warming up, doing something on that top row and when I heard myself I said: ‘Ah! Here it is.’ This is the reason why we’re here,” Nesbit said.

“You can feel yourself wanting to sing so much better,” Bailey said.

Now, students have the room they need to let their voices soar. The students have only been in the new space since last Thursday and it will take some time to get used to.

Nesbit said she’s grateful to the school district for investing in this project, which is giving the students a sense of pride in what they do.

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