In all of the choirs here at GRCHS we seek to praise God with the gifts He has given us. In addition we foster a love of good choral music, and develop life skills that enable singers to continue using their talents well after high school.
The Choral Music program at Grand Rapids Christian HS consists of three choirs that meet every day - Chamber Chorale, Men's Chorus, and Women's Chorus. All of the choirs perform in four major concerts each year. In addition to our concerts, all of our choirs participate in District Choir Festival in February where they have consistently earned mostly Superior ratings. Those that receive Superior ratings typically go on to State Choir Festival in May. In the last few years all of our groups have qualified for State Choir Festival and those that have gone have come away with Superior ratings and perfect or nearly perfect scores.
Women's Chorus is open to all high school girls. In this choir we work at building the foundation of good choral singing by devoting time to: developing a healthy, supported, free of tension choral tone; the study of theory; sight reading using the Solfege moveable “Do” system; proper breathing techniques. This choir performs music in three and four parts.
Men's Chorus is open to all high school men. The goals and objectives are similar to the women’s group but we also focus on issues specific to the male voice.
Chamber Chorale is a smaller, select ensemble of juniors and seniors. Membership is by audition only. This choir averages 25-30 performances a year that include participation in church services, singing for community groups, school assemblies, etc. This group has received many awards for excellence. Some highlights: in 2006 and 2010 they received a perfect score from all three judges at Michigan School Vocal Music Association State Choir Festival; in 2006, 2010, 2011, and 2012 the group was selected through a blind audition to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival as one of two “Outstanding Choirs” in the State of Michigan; in 2009 the Chamber Chorale was selected to perform at the Michigan Music Conference.
Candice Sytsma grew up in California, attending Valley Christian High School and Chapman University. She married her husband Tom, a Byron Center native, and moved to Grand Rapids in 2009. She then attended Grand Valley to obtain her education credentials. Candice student taught with Mr. Van Wingerden and was hired to accompany some of the high school choirs and teach in GRC Middle School where she has taught General Music/Choir in grades 5 and 6, and choir for 7th&8th grade girls. She now directs all High School Ensembles. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Music Education from Western Michigan University, to be completed in 2016.