Forte Finish: Carmel choirs discuss continuing future success despite director changes


John Burlace, associate Director of Choirs, will leave after the end of this year. For the past few years, Carmel Choirs have undergone quite a number of director changes. Director of Choirs Kathrine Kouns said when all three directors left three years ago, it was thought that the choir program would fall apart. However, the choirs continued to succeed, and Kouns said it may be even better than what it was before.

“I anticipate the program to continue to move in the same direction that it’s been moving, and for the kids to have a great experience just like they always have,” Kouns said. “Obviously we want whoever comes into their position here as one of the next choir directors, to be able to put their own stamp on things and have their own input.”

Ambassador and sophomore Shawn Horrocks said student interest in choir will allow them to continue the success of the choirs.

“While Burlace is a vital talent and a brilliant teacher, he’s not the only pilot of Carmel Choirs. I do believe that no matter who the new director is, the future success of the program is protected by the integrity of the students,” he said.

Kouns said she believes both an able teacher and student resilience as a choir will also allow the choirs to continue to be successful next year.

She said, “As long as you have a capable teacher who is coming in and holding students to a high standard and encouraging them to work together, they’re going to be successful. Plus there’s a really great foundation here of students knowing their stuff.”

For Ambassador and junior Hannah Paul, she said the excitement of the choir students to strive to improve will continue despite who the director is.

Paul said, “One of the things I’ve loved about being in such a competitive choir program is that every student in nearly every ensemble wants to be the best they can be, and more importantly make the ensemble the best they can be. I think that it’s the work ethic and the attitude of the students that makes the choir so successful in general.”

“We can’t go into it thinking that (choir) is going to be the same,” Horrocks said. “There’s no reason to think that things won’t change. But, there’s also no reason to think that things will fail either. While he was just such a pure talent and such a perfect role to that job, things will be different, but we still have the potential to be an amazing group.”