Gabe Rios (‘23) is making history as the first-ever freshman in Eastern Singers. He has been singing for about 10 years. As a child, he would perform on stage with his dad’s band. He is now a dedicated choir student who was given special permission to join Forest Hills Eastern’s top choir: Eastern Singers. He loves the zero-hour class and described it as one of his favorite hours. He expressed that everyone was very welcoming, especially the seniors, and he has already made several close friends. Despite being the youngest, he feels he is an appreciated part of the group, and the other members agree. Allayna Hight (‘20) commented, “Gabe is a fantastic addition to the group, I’m really glad that we have the opportunity to sing together. He’s really talented.”
At the group’s most recent concert, combined with all high school and middle school choirs, Gabe sang a solo in the song “Alright, Okay, You Win.” He dazzled the audience with his smooth, flirtatious solo in the jazz love song, though he was disappointed that the microphone did not work properly. Overall, he thought the concert went well. He will be singing the solo again when Eastern Singers performs at the Vocal Jazz Festival at the Fine Arts Center on October 21, at 7 p.m. Eastern Singers will be one of the many groups performing two songs at the concert, organized by Forest Hills Northern, and featuring Western Michigan University’s Gold Company.
Gabe is adjusting well to the new environment in the more advanced choir. He described 8th-grade choir as “mellow,” with no complicated pieces and few solos. He says the biggest difference is holding a microphone for the concerts. His favorite memory was singing a solo for the song “I See the Light” from the movie Tangled with Kate Laidlaw (‘23). “Me and Kate had instant chemistry, we got along so well.” He wishes he would have had more opportunities to have solos in the past years to prepare him for Eastern Singers. In the future, he wants to continue singing, possibly professionally. For now, he loves that he can be a part of Eastern Singers for all four years of high school. He commented, “I feel like it’s a family, not just a class.”