Posted Date: 11/14/2017
“O Mother Mary come and carry us in your embrace, let us see your gentle face, Mary,” the high school choir sang as they performed their first concert of the year in the Marion Performing Arts Center on Oct. 16, led by director Johnny Peoples. The concert featured girls’ and mixed choir, as well as pieces from the junior high boys’ and girls’ choirs. Performances ranged from a tribute for families affected by hurricanes to “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.
“This year we’ve just been working on our fall concert- we’re doing lots of different styles. The high school, they’ve got music dating back from the 1400s to modern gospel; the junior high kids have been working on all-region choir music,” Peoples stated.
Some of the choral selections included solos within the pieces. Alexis Bynum was the soloist for the high school female choir while soloists for mixed choir included Ashlee Rucks, Erica Richardson and Destiny Day. Peoples teaches the solo to any interested students, and they work on it in class for a few days before singing in front of the class for the audition. Peoples always has an idea of how he would like the solo to sound, and students who best fit this sound receive the solo.
Choir practices every day to perfect their work; after school practices are also available for students interested in all-region.
“Choir practice is rigorous. We practice from bell to bell, but it’s worth it in order to sound pleasing to the ear of those who listen and support us,” Hunter Smith, a junior in mixed choir, said.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, that hard work paid off for four students selected as members of the all-region mixed choir after traveling to Searcy to audition. These students, who include Aubrey Montague, Hunter Smith, Jordan Dolin and Edward Smith, are now eligible to audition for the all-state choir in February.
Students and families alike are encouraged to come to the concerts and show their support, as all concerts are free to the public. He also urges anyone who has ever thought about being in choir to come and join; not everyone has to be a soloist or a star singer. In fact, choir is much more than simply singing for its devoted members.
“For me, choir isn’t just a group of singers at school, it’s a team. We support each other, and we sing loud and proud. I think we’ve all done well, and I’m excited for our next concert,” Madison Eldridge, a sophomore in mixed choir, exclaimed.
With many upcoming events, including the ugly Christmas sweater concert on Dec. 5, be sure to come and show support as the choir prepares their new selections.
Marion School District
Photo by Ashley Harris
Marion School District