The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

The student news site of Clements High School

The RoundUp

Harmonious Transitions: Embracing the Unexpected Arrival of New Choir Directors


Choir is welcoming two new directors, Jade Blakey and Justin Shen. Blakey taught at Clear Lake High School for nine years before moving here and has ten years of teaching experience. Shen has five years of teaching experience at the high school level and is a part of the Houston Chamber Choir. 

While one of the previous directors retired in the spring, the other one left over the summer, leading students to wonder how the choir’s dynamics would change. So far this year, Shen and Blakey think that their first time teaching at Clements has been a “wonderful experience”.

Blakey and Shen are excited to teach the students, despite the fast-paced changes, because they are willing to make the choir a big family. Their commitment to the choir creates strong bonds, memories experienced together, and the new practice each person gets to enjoy.

“Change is hard, but we don’t talk about how change is good,” Blakey said. “It tells us what we value and also, we find a lot of commonalities with others when we go through a change.”

Fellow choir students Dean Marino and Julie Ascencio expressed “nervousness” but also were “looking forward to making choir a whole again”. Because of the new teachers, students can look forward to new things and try different understandings of what choir is, making them have a more personal relationship with the directors. Whether that be through games or different activities done during class, students are gathering a close relationship with them quickly, while learning more musically. 

“I’m looking forward to that moment at the end of the year where we’ve [the choir students] had that time with them [the choir teachers] and we can feel the energy that we’ve related to each other for so long,” Marino said. “I think that that’s going to be a really powerful thing.”

When the students were asked to describe the directors, many said energetic or exciting – choir student Abigail Anderson calls them “sweet and down to earth”. When describing themselves, Shen said “particular”, and Blakey said “joyful”. These traits allow students to connect with them during class time while also having fun. Both Shen and Blakey have felt “welcomed into the fold” and say that the great team culture has made the transition way easier. 

“They are very entertaining and keep us [the choir] engaged,” choir co-vice president Grace Andrews said. 

While some of the choir students miss the old teachers, they recognize the new ones’ strengths and differences. Many of the choir students are looking forward to the upcoming years together and can’t wait to grow into a family. 

“At the end of the day, joy is music and choir will always be choir,” Shen said.

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About the Contributors
Natalie Johnson
Natalie Johnson, Reporter
Hey, ya’ll! My name is Natalie Johnson and I'm a sophomore. This is my first year in Quill and Scroll and I am so excited to work with all the fantastic people here. Some of my interests are broadcasting, history, photography, and music. I like spending time with friends, playing my violin or singing in the choir, and reading a good book in my free time. I can’t wait to discover all the awesome things we do here at Clements!
Kylie Scarrow
Kylie Scarrow, Reporter
Hi! My name is Kylie and I'm a sophomore. This is my first year in Quill and Scroll and I'm excited to learn and develop more in journalism! Some other things I enjoy are music, photography, aquatic sciences, and spending time with my friends and family. I can't wait to share and collaborate on stories this year!

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