Beyond the Choir Classroom

Woodgrove’s Acapella choir, the Woodgrove Singers, at the 2023 Purcellville Christmas tree lighting. Brubaker, Kimbrough, Murray, and Ubial are present. Photo provided by Elizabeth Brubaker.
Woodgrove’s Acapella choir, the Woodgrove Singers, at the 2023 Purcellville Christmas tree lighting. Brubaker, Kimbrough, Murray, and Ubial are present. Photo provided by Elizabeth Brubaker.

Throughout Loudoun County and much of Virginia, Woodgrove is well known for its outstanding choral program. Even outside of class, these star singers are invested performers and lovers of music. 

Music, I have learned, is such an important way to show gratitude and praise.”

— Elizabeth Brubaker

Senior Noah Ubial plays in a band with his brother, cousin, and uncle. “We perform for my brother’s club at George Mason University. It’s like ambient music,” Ubial said. Although a singer in school, he’s the bass guitarist for his family band. “Our family connects with music by playing different instruments. [We] will get together every so often and play music together,” Ubial shared. He plans on continuing to pursue music after high school and is considering college acapella groups or bands. “I think that there is definitely music that can be found no matter where you go,” he expressed.

Noah Ubial’s family band playing in the student center at George Mason University. Photo provided by Noah Ubial.

Also inspired musically by her family is senior Elizabeth Brubaker. “It has been very evident that I have had a thing for music from the start.” Brubaker explained, “At age six, I was put in piano lessons. My mom, who plays the violin, inspired me to pick up the cello at ten years old.” She also started voice lessons at eleven years old and has continued through high school, as well as being involved in choir. “I feel so lucky to have been raised in an environment that pushed music, as I know it has helped shape me into who I am today,” Brubaker remarked.

Elizabeth Brubaker playing the cello. Photo provided by Elizabeth Brubaker.

Brubaker also sees the power of music every Sunday morning at her church, Lovettsville Baptist, where she plays cello or sings for the congregation. “Though most people come for the sermon, I understand that there is equal value in worship,” she professed, “Music, I have learned, is such an important way to show gratitude and praise. Being a part of the team of people who help lead that music has taught me so much and has allowed me to further praise God by using the talents He gave me to serve others.” Brubaker’s musical journey is not ending with her high school career, as she plans to continue singing in acapella groups and playing cello.

Matthew Murray portrays the iconic Buddy the Elf in Woodgrove’s production of Elf The Musical. Photo provided by Lifetouch.

Woodgrove’s Elf The Musical star, Matthew Murray, uses his talents on and off the school stage. Murray takes voice lessons and is a part of the theater company, Studio Bleu. “I’m in a couple shows right now,” he explained, “With Studio Bleu I’m in Sweeney Todd, and in the [Woodgrove] theater class we are doing Alice by Heart.” 

Skye Kimbrough performing at Dynasty Brewing. Photo provided by Skye Kimbrough.

Senior Skye Kimbrough is a singer and songwriter, and uses her talents for public solo performances. “I play gigs, I do a lot of jazzy stuff,” Kimbrough explained, “I write my own songs and perform those a lot.” According to Kimbrough, there was a process in learning where her passion for music fit in her life. “There were so many times where I was pushing music away to do other things. When I finally focused on my music, I got increasingly better and it was more enjoyable for me to do.” Her shift in focus has led her to pursue music more fully, and she plans on continuing to do so in the years to come.

The love of music is strong in the hearts of Woodgrove’s singers and can be seen through the implementation of it in their daily lives. Their continuous commitment to music shows a passion worthy of lifelong pursuit.

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