By Josh Kirk
“Sing out!” says Ms. Andrea Brumbach, as she often tells her choir students to be confident in their singing abilities. Ms. Brumbach is one of three music teachers at Arundel High School. She directs choir (concert and Honors chamber) at Arundel and teaches instrumental lessons for piano and guitar.
For something more challenging, she also teaches AP Music Theory. She learned piano in the third grade and taught herself to play guitar in high school when she was given a guitar by a friend. She got her music degree at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. She has been directing chorus at Arundel for over six years.
When asked what she likes about directing the choir, Brumbach says, “I like the process when we’re starting a piece, and maybe it doesn’t go so well, but in 2 months it sounds really good.”
However, she says that crowd control is the hardest part about directing her choir, considering she has a large chamber choir compared to other schools. Her students set an example by taking leadership roles such as conducting, vocal warm-ups, and physical warm-ups.
One of her favorite songs that her choir has learned last year was “The Dream Isaiah Saw,” which is being rehearsed again this year for the winter concert.
Her husband, Dr. Glenn Brumbach, was a high school band director for many years. Currently, he works as a substitute teacher at Arundel and occasionally, he helps conduct the choir.
Brumbach’s concert and chamber choirs recently had a successful school year in 2017-2018. They got all 1’s at the county choir festival and the state choir festival. Getting all 1’s is the highest score at those festival performances. Last year, the choir got all 2’s at the county festival, which is the second highest score.
“We entered a competition with the chamber choir on a whim, and they won first place and a check for $2500,” she says as she reflects on another big achievement that her choir has made.
Brumbach is known for her very optimistic persona and her encouragement for students to channel their inner opera singer. She always believes that Arundel’s chorus program has a bright future ahead of them. “We’re building,” Brumbach adds.
As of right now, there are over 25 students in Arundel’s chamber choir and about 40 in the concert choir. However, several important singers that graduated last year, including Johnny Greenslit, Dani Kellner, Zuko Rasmeni, Kyler Hewitt and Katelyn Shibilski.
Unsurprisingly, her students react well to her teaching style. “I like how she’s one – a really good teacher, and also, she’s always there for her students when they need someone to talk to, and she has a connection with her students that most teachers don’t have nowadays,” says senior alto Amanda Troncale.
“She always makes class fun all the time, and she also gives the students a lot of power,” says junior bass Drake Mayer.
“Of course her sense of humor is a great thing, but she also has a personal connection with students whether it be inside jokes or when they go and talk to her. I like the way she teaches, “ says senior tenor Samuel Acey.
The choir is also known for participating in a variety of special performances as well, including All-County Chorus, MMEA Men’s Demonstration Chorus, and the Disney Candlelight Processional, all of which will happen in the 2018-2019 school year. If you are just now joining Arundel’s chorus program, hopefully, Brumbach’s conducting skills will inspire you to proudly sing your heart out.