Photo courtesy Jeff Spencer
CITIZEN SINGERS—Members of Vocal Jazz I (top to bottom) juniors Ty Kulm, Faith Van Schaick and Liam McKay; seniors Milton Padilla and Adam Greenfield; juniors Mariska Gurath, Taysia Aasen and Riley Salzman; senior Jamie Bitz; sophomore Blake Anderson; senior Lauren Nelson and junior Naomi Kue on the staircase at the U.S. Courthouse.

Vocal Jazz I sings at two Naturalization Ceremonies
Chorus students learn about road to citizenship

By Jada Cunningham

Chorus members in WHS’s Vocal Jazz l group performed at two Naturalization Ceremonies for new Americans Friday at the U.S. Court House on Phillips Avenue in Sioux Falls. 

At the event, the students learned about the road to citizenship, the importance of the right to vote and the stories of some of our newest citizens. Four of the WHS students also registered to vote at the event. 

In total 93 new citizens participated in the Naturalization Ceremonies from many different countries. 

Director Jeff Spencer said it was an educational and emotional event for the students. 

“They sang the national anthem and an arrangement of ‘America the Beautiful,’” Spencer said. “The judge was so moved by the performance that she cried.” 

Junior Liam McKay said it was fun. 

“It was a really cool experience and I’m glad we had the opportunity to learn more about citizenship and the right to vote,” McKay said.

Senior Jamie Bitz also had a good time. 

“It was one of the coolest choir experiences that we’ve ever had,” Bitz said. “I enjoyed getting to register to vote with the new citizens that were coming to America for the first time.”


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