Walking into the fourth Hour rehearsal of the Shawnee Mission East Chamber Choir, it is hard to distinguish individual voices; they seem to blend together, all sounds coming from one solid body instead of twenty-four students. Even the lone sophomore of the choir, Rob Simpson, seems to fit in perfectly with the rest. After only having been in choir barely one year before auditioning, Simpson is able to sing as strongly as others in the group. This largely arises from the fact that he is accepted by the older students in the group.
“There are always a couple of goodhearted jokes about ‘the sophomore’, but mostly they just treat me the same as anyone else.”
With a music professor for a father, it is surprising that Simpson did not get into music before, but now that he has he plans to find more other ways to make music a part of his life. Outside of school he plays in a string-quartet year round, plays in pit orchestras for musicals, and plans to eventually participate on stage as well.
“I would love to be in the cast of either The Music Man or Camelot,” Simpson says. “Til There Was You from The Music Man is one of my favorite songs that I have sung. I like the lilting, waltz feeling I get when I sing it.”
(click the clip below to hear a sample of Simpson singing Til There Was You)
Even though he still has another three years of choir at east, he is looking towards the future and trying to figure out how to work music into his life. He plans to be involved in choir or orchestra in college but is not sure if he wishes to pursue a career in this field.
“I would be really cool to major in music, but I want to have a job when I am older so… maybe not.”
Regardless of the future, Simpson has a fantastic present going for him. As the school years starts to pick up and Chambers begins going out into the community to sing, Simpson is able to join the other twenty-three students in a beautiful chorus. Even though he is proud to have made the choir as an underclassman, he still realizes that he is one voice of many and he has a lot he can work on.
“The best part about Chamber Choir is how it brings together twenty-four people from all over the school. Outside of choir, we might be involved in football, or theater, the newspaper, anything! But as soon as we walk into the choir room all that matters is the music.”