From quintet to Carnegie Hall

Daniel Noble, Staff Writer

Five students are barely enough to man a barbershop quartet, but that is what choir director Robin Wood had when she first arrived at Liberty. Knowing she had to build the program from the ground up, she pushed for public awareness of choir in order for music to become something for the common person to enjoy.
“The music is centered around sharing the gift of uplifting, life-enhancing music that could reach every person from every walk of life,” Wood said.
To distribute the choir experience throughout the Liberty community, she introduced the singers to her elementary schoolers with hopes that the kids could take an interest in the program she hoped to develop.
“We sang at Factoria Mall, Bellevue Mall, Gilman Village, The University Women’s Club, the Bellevue Hyatt, The Issaquah Women’s Club, traveled to Silverwood to compete regionally, and started the tradition of caroling at McCaw Hall for the PNB Nutcracker. If there was an event–the Liberty Singers were there,” Wood said.
Because of all of their performances, students saw the choir both at school and out in their daily lives, so the choir integrated itself perfectly into Liberty’s local community. Wood also notified the community via a newsletter.
“I started sending out a newsletter to the community focusing on music education, the brain, and all things choir,” Wood said.
Ms. Wood developed the choir program at Maywood too, so her high school students already had years under her belt. With a strong supporting group of students behind the choir program, Wood had succeeded in her goal to completely overhaul the choir program. She didn’t stop there.
“I built a tradition of working hard to achieve something beautiful and meaningful through singing with your peers,” Wood said.
The student perspective remains equally positive. Through jazz choir, the musicals, and Liberty Singers, her new programs have been springing up all through the school year and provide plenty of outlets for these students to pursue their passion.
“I see her as more than a teacher, because I have more a friendship and a guardian-like relationship with her, and a lot of people like to refer to her as their ‘choir mom’,” junior Kyler Granados said.