“I Was a Singer Inside, at Heart”


Mr. Flores

Michael Casarez, Reporter/Photo Editor

Selma High is moving along this school year with many new faces, one of whom is Mr. Jorge Flores, the Bears’ new choir teacher.
Selma High alumnus from the class of 2017, Mr. Flores stated he’s always longed to return to his school to instruct chorus, saying, “It’s always been a dream of mine, coming back to my old high school where I first experienced choir myself.”
He soon recognized singing has been his passion for a prolonged period, mentioning he had joined band from an early age during fifth grade, but had not signed up for choir until high school, when he was urged by friends to audition for the chamber group.
“I knew there was something there for me. I was a singer inside, at heart. I always loved to sing,” he said. He believes this experience drove him to register for the vocal – choral route in college, which is attributed to the influence in both band and choir during secondary school.
Mr. Flores has been involved in band since 2010, thus he has remained in the music industry for almost 13 years. He pursued a music education major with an emphasis in choral vocal at California State University, Fresno, in the pursuit of being a choir instructor, where he graduated in spring of 2021.
Mr. Flores recognizes his appreciation for the community and fellow faculty members. When asked if he enjoys working at Selma High School, he said “A lot of my teachers are still here, and I’m working alongside them, so having that connection already doesn’t feel like I’m completely foreign .”
His goals are to retain many students in the classes to influence and – hopefully – inspire them to continue in a promising career such as choir as well.
A typical day of work consists of commencing three periods: Chamber Singers, Bass Choir and Treble Choir. Following lunch, he travels to Abraham Lincoln Middle School for sixth and seventh period Concert Choirs. But the day isn’t done there, as it is followed by college classes from five to eight, as he is still an intern through Fresno State.
A class of choir usually includes vocal warmups, rehearsals in which students use time to learn the music, but Mr. Flores also has lectures on music literacy.
“The fact that all singers, even myself, can be vulnerable in this setting . . . to have students sing out in their own voices and come out as one is a way to express yourself,” he also stated, in regards to his favorite aspect of choir.
He feels singing is a way to convey a message or story. However, the most challenging part of instructing choir has been motivating learners to sing out with confidence. Mr. Flores looks to the future with optimism, stating “Choir wasn’t offered here last year, so brand new slate, brand new program.”
Mr. Flores has a strong passion for the field, saying “I think I would still see myself being involved in music. If I hadn’t gone to college and continued in the industry, I would likely have pursued a professional career in singing.”
He adds his support for amendments on campus. “There have been so many changes, not only in the choir room with new inventory of equipment and uniforms, but also schoolwide with cell phone policies, tardy policies, all these things in place and I think it’s a really good step in the right direction.”
Mr. Flores recalls being accepted to the acclaimed National Honor Choir while at Selma High, which allowed him to be under the direction of Eric Whitacre, a prominent choral director and composer. He believes this exposure further strengthened his passion for singing, a plus to all his students here at Selma High.