A new voice in the choir room

Sofia Kovalenko, Beat Editor

Following years of sharing his musical talents through Broadway performances and opera concerts, Liberty choir and guitar teacher Erick Price has decided to share them with Liberty High School as well. 

Music has been an important part of Price’s life since he was young, as he grew up in a household that placed great value on it. 

“When I was a kid, every family function ended with a sing-a-long. My grandfather, great uncle, father, and eventually my brother would play guitars and the rest of us would sing old country western tunes,” Price said. “Music was a part of the family culture.”

Later in his life, Price realized that he wanted to make a career out of his love for music.

“I discovered my passion for music in high school taking choir and being a part of musical theatre productions. There I saw a touring production of Les Misérables, my first real musical theatre experience,” Price said. “I knew immediately during that performance that this is what I wanted to do with my life.”

Price began his teaching journey with Liberty this fall, filling the long-held spot of previous choir teacher Robin Wood. Previously working as a teacher in Illinois, Missouri, and New York, Price is no stranger to the process of moving schools. 

“The onboarding process is a lot easier now. You’re always learning the school culture, norms, and rules of schools,” Price said. “The only challenge is getting to know new students and their abilities. Every high school choir has a different skill set at the beginning of the year.”

To help assess the skill set of the class and get to know students better, Price has been requesting and evaluating as much student input as possible. 

“We have a guiding council, which might be like president or vice president in another group, but instead here it’s more of an equal footing. I have two leaders from each singing part, so two sopranos, two altos, two tenors, and two basses from both choirs,” Price said. 

The guiding council helps lead sectionals and activities for sections, boost morale and create a strong class culture, and assist people with learning their parts. The guiding council is not new to the Liberty choirs, but has been a crucial part in helping Price learn more about the Liberty community. 

This knowledge has been essential for Price, as he feels he has big shoes to fill. 

“I’m a different person than Mrs. Wood is and our focus is kind of different, as she had all of these students since 6th grade,” Price said. “She’s a hard act to follow because she’s full of life and spunk.” 

However, Price has quickly adjusted to his new role and is looking forward to a future with the choir program.

“I love working with Liberty’s students. They’re hard-working, talented, and good-spirited. There’s a lot of community, which is exactly what you need for a successful choir,” Price said. “We just finished our 90-minute-class, and we were still performing until the bell today, and it felt like 5 minutes had passed since the class began.”