PJ junior Emily Griggs to perform in NJSMA Choral Concert after high-scoring audition

Director of Communications
Pope John XXIII Regional High School

SPARTA — When talking choral music with Emily Griggs, her face lights up with joy.

“You just get a quality of sound like none other,” the Pope John XXIII Regional High School junior said. “Once you get into a chorus in which everyone is passionate in what they do, you can hear that sound and it is so nice.”

Griggs has given her all as a soprano to help make that great sound heard by many people.

In the process, she has earned great individual recognition over the years. Griggs’ most recent achievement was a big one, as she posted the second-highest score as a soprano in the North Jersey School Music Association’s Region I audition.

In doing so, she earned a spot in the NJSMA’s High School Choral Concert, which will be performing at 4 p.m. Saturday at Bloomfield High School.

“It was nice,” Griggs said of her audition. “I didn’t think that I actually got that high of a score. I knew I was going to do well because I have been practicing a lot for it, but it was still a surprise.”

“We are so proud to have her represent us,” Pope John XXIII Regional High School President and Principal Father McHugh said. “She has been a wonderful cantor and singer for Pope John XXIII Regional High School.”

Griggs’ regional accomplishment is the latest in what has already been a quality high school career as a singer.

Growing up under the tutelage of her parents who are both musicians and music teachers, Griggs has performed in mixed choir at the regional level every year since the seventh grade. And in the last two years, Griggs has earned spots on the New Jersey All-State Chorus — an accomplishment that is hard to do once, let alone in consecutive years.

Along with her accomplishments, Griggs also sings in Pope John’s mixed choir and has sung at the school’s masses with its honors choir as well. Griggs attributes her successes to her parents, especially her mother Sherry.

“She plays a huge part,” Griggs said. “She knows a lot of people in the choral music community and always helps me get opportunities to audition for these choirs. She also has perfect pitch, so helps me stay in tune all the time.”

When it came time for the regional audition at the beginning of January, Griggs said she felt good about it for the most part because she had done well in the three necessary requirements — scales, tonal memory and the solo — in the past.

“When it was my time, I felt comfortable with my tonal memory section because I had practiced it so many times,” Griggs said. “I felt good with the scales, even though I didn’t like the song that I had to sing. But, in the solo, I was only worried about the last note of the song, which I had to hold for a really long time. However, I did better than I thought.”

Since earning a spot in the Choral Concert, Griggs has been working hard to prepare for it. She has had practice every week with the Treble choir, including an all-day rehearsal this past Thursday.

Though it has been a long process to get ready for the concert, Griggs is looking forward to performing on Saturday. After all, this type of singing is music to her ears.

“I’m excited,” Griggs said. “I like our program. There are a lot of music genres in it. ... This type of concert motivates me to do well because you want to be part of a group that is passionate, energetic and wants to produce that quality of sound. It should be a really great concert.”

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