Choir Returns

Grace Leonardi, Managing Editor

When words fail, music speaks.
“Music transcends any other ways of communicating. It is more than just the notes on the page or the moments in the performance, it is really something that has always been there for me no matter where I am.” UHS Choir Teacher Mr. Dargis said.
It can be used to get through things and express things and really engage that creative side of who you are, allowing you to have fun as well as discover things about yourself.
Chieftain singers went without a choir class for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year and were happily shocked when news came out there would be hope for the program. Students in the choir department were given a chance to make music for the first time this year.
Fresh out of college, teacher Tyler Dargis was welcomed with open arms by staff and students of Utica High School and is shaping the program to be his own with a fresh semester two start.
“Mr. Dargis has had such high energy and welcoming spirits from the moment I met him” junior Ashlynn Gazaway said.
Dargis makes the six-member choir class feel like a family with his energy and teaching style.
“Mr. Dargis is outgoing, funny, and insanely talented. His teaching style is organized and fun, he is very good at getting things done, while laughing and enjoying everyone’s company,” senior Maria Chesnutt said.
He caters his course directly to the needs and wants of his students, accommodating to their level of knowledge so they can all be on the same page with reading music as well as their musical preferences, planning to cover the styles of music that each student enjoys singing.
“Choir has impacted me by giving me the opportunity to do what I love during this crazy year.” Chesnutt said, sharing how Dargis’ class has helped her grow in her musical knowledge and brought positivity to her senior year.
Dargis’ plan for the program is to grow it into several choirs including a catch-all mixed chorus, women’s choir, men’s choir and auditioned groups and plans to teach not only choral music but to teach all types of music as well as help his students learn to read music, sight-sing, and be successful however they sing.
He also plans to eventually start an A Capella group as well as a Show Choir who could compete.
Mr. Dargis recently graduated from Oakland University in 2020 with a “Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education specializing in Choral and General Music” and was hired at Utica with great confidence he would grow this program and form ties to unite the choir program with the band and drama programs to create a performing arts family.
To add a little bit more background on Mr. Dargis, he student taught alongside Mrs. Julia Holt at Eisenhower last semester and holds Utica Community Schools close to home as many of his family members graduated from Utica High School, including his mother and grandparents.
He has always had a passion for music, as he was raised on 80’s rock and pop, as well as country.
His relationship with music has grown and changed over the years but has always been constant. Throughout this entire journey one thing remains true, music has always been there for him and is still each day. Its is a way of life.
Dargis’s students say they are already inspired by their teacher’s enthusiasm and passion, and are looking forward to watching their renewed program grow.