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ENTERTAINMENT Choir proves “Excellent” in competition May 2011 The Galleon

By LEE GINTON ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR In the deep waters of Spanish River lies a hidden treasure, a class where belting out lyrics from Broadway shows, such as Rent and Hairspray, is in the daily agenda. Led by Rita DiDominic, Spanish River’s choir is divided into three different classes: Choir I (for beginner singers), Mixed Choir (for more experienced singers) and Show Choir (for the best singers at Spanish River). DiDominic, a professional jazz singer, has been teaching at Spanish River for 19 years and has taught the choir for the past seven. “I love teaching choir because I love music,” DiDominic said. “I sang in choir when I was in high school and was a frequent soloist.” Many students at River see the choir as nothing more than a Fine Arts credit, but there is more than meets the eye, according to choir member senior Martha Cordoba. Every year the choir performs at numerous

charity and community events in an effort to spread smiles with their singing. Previous performances have included a concert for Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education in Boca Raton’s Mizner Amphitheater and a concert for cancer patients at the Villa Borghese Cancer Research Center. The choir also takes an annual trip to the Disney Jazz Festival where they perform and receive a rating based on their performance. This year, the choir received an “Excellent” rating. The common theme in all of the choir’s performances is the use of the power of music to bring joy to their audiences. “I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces when we perform,” junior Micaela White said. “To see how our music can impact someone makes me feel really good.” DiDominic hopes to see a rise in the number of boys participating in the choir. Currently there is only one boy to every three girls. In order for a successful balance of sounds, it is crucial to have an equal gender ratio, too many female singers will lead to songs sounding too

high pitched, according to sophomore member Steven Jacobs. “Definitely more boys are needed because [the choir] is still a bit small,” Jacobs said. “[Boys should] give it a try, truthfully. There is nothing to lose and it’s a good class, so if you love singing, why not go for it?” Aside from improving vocal skills, being in the choir gives students confidence, natural speaking ability, a feeling of comfort in front of an audience and teamwork skills. Even gathering the courage to audition can be a stepping stone, as many students are often too shy to join, according to Cordoba. If one is able to overcome the fear and gather the strength to audition, one may find a bright future in store with the choir. “Not only has choir helped develop my voice, but the people that I have met [in choir] made my decision [to join] completely worth it,” Cordoba said. “We all get along very well and form our own family.”

Catch the choir performing on May 12 at Spanish River in the Countess De Hoernle theatre at 7:00 P.M. Tickets are $5 at the door. Photo courtesy of Rita DiDominic

Netflix dominates movie market with ease By ARIEL BROWN ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Late fees for overdue movie rentals and gas money to drive to the store are issues of the past with Netflix’s versatility. Movie lovers are now drawn to Blockbuster’s more convenient replacement that is accessible from virtually anywhere. Netflix started out with only the option for a mail delivery service or an Internet download of a movie, but it has continuously expanded its collection of viewing platforms. The availability of numerous platform options has significantly contributed to its increasing popularity. The Netflix library is not only available by mail, computers and television, but now the content can also be streamed via the Internet directly to various video game consoles, as well as to Blu-ray players, practically every Apple product on the market and Google TV. Currently, over 200 Netflix-capable devices are on the market, and Netflix shows no sign of ceasing its expansion. Senior Ricky Ostrofsky is a current Netflix subscriber who greatly appreciates its convenience. “I love Netflix because movies and TV shows are always available, whether they are sent to my house by mail or played instantly on my computer,” Ostrofsky said. “I like it better than Blockbuster because there’s no hassle to go pick out a movie; I can just browse online.” Whether directly linked with the emergence of Netflix or not, Blockbuster experienced continuously decreasing profits and gradually lost its audience. Conversely, Netflix has grown and

expanded exponentially over the past few years; the company reports that it has now amassed over 20 million members in the United States and Canada. Netflix is now the world’s top Internet subscription service for viewing movies and television shows. As of September 2010, Blockbuster declared bankruptcy of its renowned company, causing the few loyal Blockbuster patrons that remained to join the already pronounced and ever-expanding mass of Netflix subscribers. In addition to its ease and convenience, the minute monthly cost of Netflix entices many customers as well. For a mere $7.99 per month, Netflix users gain access to every hour, minute and second of the available content. This uniquely low price is especially appealing to students who are trying to conserve money and do not necessarily have the funds for pricey movies. “Netflix is great because it saves you so much money,” junior Joe Geller said. “The movies are cheap and you don’t have to drive anywhere, so you don’t have to pay for gas.” However, not everyone subscribes to Netflix and some still remain old-fashion in their movie viewing practices. “It’s a convenient way to watch movies at home, but I prefer having a hard copy of a movie,” junior Ofir Senderey said. “Also, Netflix doesn’t always get the newest movies quickly. In some ways, I’m definitely going to miss Blockbuster.” With the ever-expanding library

and diverse platform availability of Netflix, it seems as if it has secured a foothold in the hearts of movie watchers nationwide. Its appeal is evident; what teenager does not want to save money? Its ease is apparent; the maximum movement required is simply waving a Wii remote. All of these qualities have led Netflix to usher in a new era of effortless at-home movie and on-demand television access.

Art by Caroline Posner


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