Varsity Singers is an auditioned group of 50 musicians in grades 10-12, and is directed by Michael Bennett. It is the top concert choir at Jefferson High School, meeting two to three times each week as a class, and performing extensively for the Lafayette community. The group rehearses and performs a Fall, Holiday, Competition and Spring set each year.
In 2006, Varsity Singers collaborated with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra in an all Mancini program. Varsity Singers also performed with the New York City Chorale and Chamber Orchestra in the Inaugural Christmas at Carnegie program in December of 2003. Members of the group returned to New York in 2006 as part of a festival performance that featured solo debuts for members Justice Marie Fuller (Gospel America Arr. Farthing) and Eric Mowery (Libera Me from the FaurŽ Requiem). Varsity Singers performed on a Bahamas Cruise in 2002, and members who double in the schools top show choir, First Edition, performed on a cruise in 2006 and in Cozumel, Mexico. Varsity Singers has qualified for the ISSMA State Finals in each of the past thirteen years. At State Finals, Varsity Singers placed third in 2000 and 2003, placed second in 2005 and 2006, and placed fourth in 2010. The Varsity Singers last performed at the IMEA convention in 2000 under the direction of Deborah Miller.
Fourteen members of Varsity Singers performed in Carnegie Hall as part of the National Youth Chorus under the direction of Dr. Eph Ehly. Dr. Ehly is one of the most enthusiastic and expressive choral directors in the world. All three of the pieces featuring soloists were filled by Jefferson High School students out of a chorus of hundreds. Justice Fuller was featured as the soloist in Farthing’s “Gospel America”. Eric Mowery was the featured soloist in Libera Me from Faure’s Requiem. Marc Winski was a member of a featured octet in Mozart’s Dixit Dominus. The chorus also performed Craig Courtney’s Sanctus, Eugene Butler’s Festival Piece on St. Anne, an arrangement of Shenandoah, and a piece titled “The Awakening” by Joseph Martin.
In 2003, twenty members of Varsity Singers participated in a similar event, performing at the First-Ever Christmas at Carnegie series under the direction of Craig S. Arnold.