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A Mighty Song concludes a mighty career for Choral Director Mrs. Lutz

With a passionate, emotional, and even funny combined effort, the Men’s and Women’s Ensembles said goodbye and good luck to MRHS Choral Director Deborah Lutz at her final spring concert on Thursday, May 14. 

Ms. Lutz will retire in June after a 42 year career that has spanned states, continents, and even oceans with her impact. 

The final show was aptly titled Sing a Mighty Song and did not disappoint.  Lighthearted show tunes from the Pirates of Penzance and South Pacific as well as rock tunes from decades gone by allowed the ensembles to showcase their versatility. 

However, it was the Phantom of the Opera Medley that brought a standing ovation from the audience.  From lighting to solos, the mood and atmosphere was powerful.

Perhaps the most moving performance of the evening came from the Men’s Ensemble reprisal of their 2014 Washington Performance of Tell My Father.  The song is from the point of view of a Civil War soldier who is dying on the battlefield and wants his father to know how bravely he fought and faced the dangers of war.  Tears flowed with the perfect harmony of our boys.

After a live tribute to all senior choral students, both ensembles combined again to perform We Go to Together from Grease.  Always an audience-pleaser, the two choirs were able to add moves and energy that were the best send-off for Ms. Lutz and conclusion to their final amazing year together.

Special words from Ms. Lutz, included in the program for the evening:

“To the hundreds of students and parents who have challenged and enriched my life for the past 42 years, how can I put into words the impact you have had on me?  I cannot.  You have been with me through the most difficult times of my life and have encouraged me with your love and music.  I hope you have experienced the joy, the challenge, and the power of the choral arts.  Please continue to keep this most awesome gift of music alive for future generations.  May God bless you and yours always and in all ways.”


“Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”  This proverb is often attributed to Dr. Seuss.



Choral Arts News from earlier this year:


On March 19, 2015 the Marvin Ridge High School Men's Ensemble and Women's Ensemble participated in the state MPA (Musical Performance Adjudication) Choral Festival at Wingate University.  Each choir sang two selections from memory for a panel of three adjudicators. Directors are required to chose at least one of the choir's songs from the state choral music list.  Ensembles are judged on tone quality, intonation (melodic and harmonic),diction (uniform vowels and clear consonants), rhythm accuracy and precision, expression (dynamics, articulations),  pitch accuracy, balance between parts, artistry, blend, and stage presence.

Both choirs earned 3 Superiors which is the top rating. This is the first year the MRHS Men's Ensemble has been eligible to participate.  It is finally a yearlong class!  The boys were entertaining, energetic, good looking and confident with their singing.  The audience rewarded their offerings with prolonged applause.  Adjudicators used words "beautiful tone," "such pretty voices," "evidence of love of singing," which really describes this year's Men's Ensemble.  This choir has been blessed with exceptional musical leadership in all vocal sections.  Hats off to the 4year seniors who have been very committed to the Men's Ensemble and were able to bring to fruition a yearlong class and 3 Superior scores.  The boys' last chord was so powerful and in tune that I felt as if I was listening to Chanticleer, the world famous professional choir out of San Francisco!  BRAVO, FORZA VOCE!!!

The Women's Ensemble continued a MR 7 year superior streak and garnered two nearly perfect scores out of 3 with a 98 and 99.  The third score was 93.  As the girls finished their last note silence settled over the audience.  My husband overheard two women behind him whisper, "These girls can sing me to sleep any time."  They had just delivered an exquisite performance of Eric Whitacre's "Seal Lullaby."  One adjudicator commented that the ensemble's performance of Benjamin Britten's "Deo Gracias" was "one of the better performances he had heard by a high school choir."  The judges were impressed by the girls' outstanding emotional involvement and commitment to artistry, their gorgeous stage presence, and their stellar singing. 


Written by: Lisa Justice - Assistant Principal and Deborah Lutz, Choral Director
Posted: May 18, 2015 by Lisa Justice

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