Six Students Perform in TN Treble Honor Choir at Opryland

Top to Bottom, left to right: Maggie Trent, Bethany Walsh, Emily Corbett, Ilse Dale, Sophie Sherlock, Victoria Corbett

Top to Bottom, left to right: Maggie Trent, Bethany Walsh, Emily Corbett, Ilse Dale, Sophie Sherlock, Victoria Corbett

Six St. Mary’s School students – Emily Corbett, Victoria Corbett, Ilse Dale, Sophie Sherlock, Maggie Trent, and Bethany Walsh – were selected to participate in the 2017 Tennessee Treble Honor Choir. The Tennessee Treble Honor Choir is an auditioned choir made up of 130 –150 of the best 5th and 6th grade students from schools throughout the state of Tennessee.
Each student submitted a solo audition recording of her or him singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” in the keys of F and A Flat.  A committee of music educators from across the state adjudicates the auditions listening for pitch accuracy, tone quality, diction, ability to use chest and head registers, and phrasing. The Treble Choir performed at the Tennessee Music Education Association Professional Development Conference held April 5th – 8th at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
This talented group of young singers sang in multiple languages and were exposed to a variety of musical instruments.  Repertoire at this year’s concert included: Laughing and Singing, a Traditional Round, I Never Ate a Cloud by B. Wayne Bisbee, Pie Jesu arranged by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, On the Back of an Eagle by Nancy Telfer, La Violette and Salangadu from “Acadian Folk Songs” arranged by Susan Brumfield, and Dixieland Sound, arranged by Don Besig and Nancy Price. TTHC (6)
The Latin piece Pie Jesu was written in memory of the children who perished in the April 1995, Oklahoma City bombing.  During the Acadian Folk Songs, the choir sang in French, and members of the ensemble were given the opportunity to accompany the group on Orff xylophones, tree chimes, hand drums, triangles, and other percussion instruments.  During the final song Dixieland Sound, the choir was accompanied by a Dixieland jazz ensemble including a trumpet, trombone, soprano saxophone, and drum set.
When the students were asked to share something special about their participation in the honor choir, Bethany commented, “I liked that there was a funky rhythm in the last song.”
Maggie added, “I liked the conductor because she was funny and interacted a lot with all of the kids.”
Emily shared, “I enjoyed listening to all the different groups when we were combined together in harmony.”
TTHC (4)The experience was certainly memorable for everyone that participated in this year’s Tennessee Treble Honor Choir. The singers sang under the direction of Debbie Burton and Margaret Orem.  Debbie Burton is a classroom music teacher at Jerebek Elementary School and Crown Point Junior Music Academy, and is an adjunct professor at San Diego State University and Point Loma Nazarene University teaching Music for Elementary School Teachers.  She is a local and national Orff and Kodaly presenter.  Margaret Orem is a classroom music teacher at Jerabek Elementary School and conducts a school volunteer choir.  She also conducts the Preparatory Choir for the San Diego Children’s Choir.

St. Mary’s Students Excel in Algebra Competition

The 61st annual statewide High School Mathematics Contest was held on April 11, 2017, at Roane State Community College in Harriman.  It was sponsored by the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers’ Association.
Four students from St. Mary’s School took the Algebra I test.  Anna Kasemir placed 1st, Sydney Mesmer placed 5th, Sarah Tackett placed 7th,  and Marissa Dalton placed 8th.

Left to Right: Anna Kasemir, Sydney Mesmer, Mrs. Marsha Sega (middle school math teacher), Sarah Tackett and Marissa Dalton

Left to Right: Anna Kasemir, Sydney Mesmer, Mrs. Marsha Sega (middle school math teacher), Sarah Tackett and Marissa Dalton

According to the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association, prior to 1957, several independent contests in high school mathematics were held in various localities in Tennessee.  TMTA effected a merger of these contests in 1957 and began to sponsor a contest open to all public, private, and parochial high schools in Tennessee.  This association is happy to conduct a statewide contest each year as one of its major projects.
The major purposes of the contest are (1) to stimulate interest in mathematics by encouraging more students to include mathematics in their programs of study and, thereby, to raise the level of mathematics competence in Tennessee; and (2) to honor those students who are outstanding in their knowledge of mathematics through appropriate public recognition in their schools and their communities.
The contest is conducted as an academic festival where students represent their school in competition with others at a nearby Testing Center.  These specially selected school representatives compete with others for preeminence in their region and in the state.

St. Mary’s Shines at Regional Science Fair

sasefEighteen of the St. Mary’s school-level Science Fair winners participated in the regional Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF) at the University of Tennessee on March 28-30, 2017.
The SASEF is sponsored by the University of Tennessee and numerous local companies and agencies and draws students from 23 counties in East Tennessee.  The goal of the fair is to promote teaching the scientific method in science, engineering and math.  St. Mary’s students have been recognized for multiple honors each year.
St. Mary’s is proud to announce that our students received the following overall awards, certificates of excellence, special awards and honorable mentions:

4th place– Amelia Van Berkel- “Did that Get the Lead Out?”

4th place– Amelia Van Berkel-
“Did that Get the Lead Out?”

Overall Awards:
4th placeAmelia Van Berkel– “Did that Get the Lead Out?”
5th place– Sarah Tackett- “Milk: The Next Generation”

5th place– Sarah Tackett-
“Milk: The Next Generation”

5th placeSarah Tackett– “Milk: The Next Generation”
Certificates of Excellence: Parker Sorah-“Healthy Hydration Outdoors”, Sarah Tackett-“Milk: The Next Generation”, Amelia Van Berkel-“Did that Get the Lead Out?”
Special Awards:
Elizabeth Brands-“Rubber vs. Cotton”: ASM Materials Education Foundation: Most Outstanding Exhibit in Materials Science, TN Chapter of the International Society of Automation (ISA): Best Use of Instrumentation or Controls in a Junior Project, Smoky Mountain Section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE): Applying Engineering Practices
Mateo Gorrondona –“Fight Drought with Solar Panels”: American Meteorolgical Society Certificate of Outstanding Achievement, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA): 2017 Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award, NOAA: Atmospheric Turbulence & Diffusion Division, Oak Ridge, TN
Amelia Van Berkel-“Did that Get the Lead Out?”, American Institue of Chemical Engineers, East Tennessee Chapter of the American Chemical Society, BroadcomMasters Eligible
Sarah Tackett-“Milk: The Next Generation”: BroadcomMasters Eligible
Anna Kasemir-“Can You See Me Now?”: US Air Force Award
Sydney Mesmer-“Don’t Give Mosquitoes a Biting Chance”: SASEF Directors Award
Parker Sorah-“Healthy Hydration Outdoors”: BroadcomMasters Eligible
Honorable Mentions:  Jacqueline Audet-“O-Pine Wood Derby”, Marissa Dalton– “A Clay Array of Amazing Glazing”, Mateo Gorrondona –“Fight Drought with Solar Panels”, Sydney Mesmer-“Don’t Give Mosquitoes a Biting Chance”, Ethan Sherlock– “Battle of the Genres”

St. Mary’s Student Participates in National Honor Choir in Minnesota

anna1Anna Kasemir, an 8th grader at St. Mary’s School in Oak Ridge, recently participated in the American Choral Directors Association 2017 National Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir.  Over 4,400 singers auditioned to participate in the three conference honor choirs.  Of the 298 singers selected to sing in the JH/MS choir, Anna was the only singer from the state of Tennessee.  The ACDA National Conference was hosted at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 8th – 11th.  The event involved over 5,000 attendees in which all fifty states were represented, as well as, thirty foreign countries.   The JH/MS Honor Choir performed in two concerts on Saturday, March 11th.
Lynnel Joy Jenkins directed the ACDA 2017 JH/MS honor choir.   Ms. Jenkins is the Artistic Director of the Princeton Girlchoir and choral teacher at the Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Pennington, New Jersey.  Ms. Jenkins’ varied conducting and teaching experience ranges from the elementary to collegiate level. She has served as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Conductor of the Resident Training Choir at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey.  The choir’s concert selections represented a variety of musical styles, cultures, and languages.  Selection titles included:

  • Viva la Musica!                                   Composed by David Brunner
  • Sing with the Lark                             Composed by Laura Farnell
  • Chindia                                               Composed by Alexandry Pascanu
  • Peace Flows into Me                          Composed by Jake Runestad
  • Three South African Songs               Arranged by Steven Fisher
  • Jubilate Deo                                       Composed by Peter Anglea
  • A Life of Song                                     Composed by Ryan Brechmacher
  • Shenandoah                                       Arranged by Rollo Dilworth

Two of the composers attended the conference and met with the honor choir during rehearsals.  In addition to providing feedback in the rehearsals, David Brunner and Jake Runestad both participated in Question and Answer Sessions with the singers and signed each singer’s sheet music.
anna2After wonderful week of rehearsals and concerts, Anna and her music teacher, Mrs. Carol Villaverde, celebrated by visiting a unique downtown Minneapolis landmark, The Schmitt Music Wall.  It is a five-story mural on the side of a building near 10th and Marquette featuring over-sized musical notes.  The music is from a piano piece written by French composer Maurice Ravel called “Gaspard de la Nuit.” The section depicted on the building comes from the third movement, called “Scarbo.” Many musicians say it is arguably the most difficult piece to play for a solo pianist.  What an amazing way to end a wonderful week of music making!