Seven St. Mary’s School students in grades 7 and 8 were selected for the East Tennessee Vocal Association’s All-East Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir. Auditions were held on November 17 – 18 at Maryville College and the Clayton Center for the Arts. This year’s All-East Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir was made up of approximately 260 advanced 7th and 8th grade vocal students from 35 schools throughout East Tennessee. Other honor choirs at the event included a Freshman Honor Choir, as well as a Women’s Choir, a Men’s Choir, and a Mixed Choir for auditioned students in 10th – 12th grades.
The students learned and memorized their voice part on five pieces of music prior to attending the honors chorus. The challenging repertoire allowed them to sing in multiple languages and styles and in a variety of 3 and 4 part voicings. Literature from this year’s concert included “Babethandaza” by Victor C. Johnson, “I Sing Because I’m Happy” by Kenneth Padden and Rollo Dilworth, “The River Sleeps Beneath the Sky” by Victor C. Johnson, “I Lift My Eyes” by Bob Chilcott, and “Rest Not” by Laura Farnell.
This year’s conductor was Martha Shaw, the Director of Choirs at Reinhardt University in Waleska, GA, where she directs the select Chamber Singers, the 100-voice Concert Choir, and also serves as Professor of Music. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in choral literature, choral methods, and conducting. Shaw is the founding director of the world-renowned Spivey Hall Children’s Choir & Tour Choir in Atlanta. Congratulations to our 7thand 8th grade students for such an accomplishment!