“Put Up Chairs” sends choir seniors out the door


Photo by JJ Slater

Most people like to believe that everyone has some good in them; they just need the opportunity to shine. Choir’s “Put up Chair” tradition lets students show their kernel of goodness in their heart, saying goodbye to the people they’ve become friends with over the year.

“Put up Chairs” is a chance for the younger singers to compliment and share the gratitude they have for the seniors. It’s a time to bid seniors farewell and there is not a year that no tears are shed. Many students take this time to express their thanks for when seniors have helped them throughout the year. Compliments can cover anywhere from their character to personality or musicianship.
It has become a necessary tradition, according to music teacher Lynn Ryan. Ryan adopted this activity into her teaching from her mentors in Washington at Pacific Lutheran University and while student teaching. Ryan and her husband, Patrick Ryan, the head choral director at GFH, both partake in this tradition.

Ryan used to give all students the chance to sit on the chair, but the tradition switched to only seniors about six years ago due to a limited amount of time. “The first couple years it was really hard for our students to open up like that. You become really vulnerable,” Ryan said. “Why not just take time out of school to say it. Building people up is what we do.”