Female tenor, Haemi Kim

Evangeline Colarossi — Staff Writer

Departments and classes change every semester as professors try to adapt to new teaching methods or to improve their curriculum. This year, Professor Ryan Smit decided to try a change in Chorale. He would include a female voice in the Tenor section.


Haemi Kim is a senior Digital Media major at Dordt and has sung in a couple of Dordt’s choirs over the years. She has alternated between singing in Bella Voce, the all-female choir, and Chorale, the mixed choir. Though she has been singing in choir since elementary school, this is her first time singing tenor.

“I was excited to try to [sing] tenor part as I always wanted to sing in a comfortable range,” said Kim. “I had to use a lot of head voice and falsetto for the women’s part because it was quite high for me.”

Being in the tenor section helped Kim be able to sing in a comfortable range and allow her voice to develop over continual practice. Kim feels like she has been able to improve as a singer because of this, though it has still been a challenge in some areas.

“It was funny to learn that there were some higher parts in a piece where I couldn’t reach while some of the other guys could. But there were also lower parts where it was a little hard for me to reach as well, and I had to practice to hit those notes as well.”

Kim’s family loves to sing, and her passion for singing has developed from that. She believes that tenor fits her voice better and wants to continue singing in that range.

“I actually wanted to try to be in this section since high school because of my low voice but wasn’t able to,” said Kim. “Professor Smit was the first conductor who actually acknowledged that I would be able to sing tenor, which I was thankful for.”

Chorale sang in a service of lessons and carols on Sunday evening, during which Kim sang tenor. Her favorite song was “Silent Night” for various reasons.

“The overall song was really good, especially the climax. The different notes blending together made such a beautiful sound, and I really enjoyed it,” said Kim. “Also, this was the song that I was passionate about singing and was able to do it because it was in a perfect range for me.”

Some changes to departments stick while others don’t. Kim has learned that this change has allowed her to develop as a singer and truly enjoy singing in a comfortable range. Over the years, maybe the tenor section will continue to grow, allowing others to experience the same growth.

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