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CAROLYN R. WILSON/FOR THE BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
From left, Chloe Coulthard, Joe Hainsworth and Thomas O’Neill practice singing with their chorus class at Patrick Henry High School.
Posted: Sunday, January 3, 2016 9:10 pm
BY CAROLYN R. WILSON | For the Bristol Herald Courier
GLADE SPRING, Va. — Three students at Patrick Henry High School have sung their way into national honor choirs, a lifetime opportunity for the choral students who plan to put music at the top of their career lists.
Chloe Coulthard, a senior soprano, Thomas O’Neill, a sophomore tenor, and Joe Hainsworth, a sophomore bass, recently were selected by recorded auditions to be members of the National American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Men’s and Women’s Honor Choirs. The honor is similar to another competition Coulthard received recently when she was chosen to perform at the Virginia Music Educators Association in Norfolk, Virginia.
The next step for three national winners is to participate in a regional conference scheduled for March 12, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“What’s really amazing is only 154 young women and 100 young men were selected from thousands of auditions,” said David Carroll, director of choirs at Patrick Henry High School and Glade Spring Middle School. “Because there is no National ACDA conference this year, this is arguably the most selective choir a high school singer can be a part of in the entire nation.”
To make the choir, the singers competed with 10th- through 12th-grade students from school choirs, elite children’s choirs and church choirs in eleven states ranging from Mississippi to Virginia. The auditions were done at the high school and each student submitted recordings designed to test their abilities to sing complicated music and to make sure they have a well-developed sense of pitch and tone in their voices.
For the auditions, the students sang excerpts from Beethoven’s “Hallelujah” from the “Mount of Olives.”
O’Neill and Hainsworth will perform in the all men’s choir and Coulthard will perform in the women’s choir in an event directed by nationally-known famous directors, Dr. Christopher Aspaas and Dr. Kathleen Roddle.
“I’m super excited about performing in the honor choir. For three people to be chosen from the same school is pretty awesome,” said Hainsworth, who plans to major in chemistry in college, but wants to include music in his leisure time.
“Extraordinary, a huge honor, and a lot of fun,” are a few things that come to mind for Coulthard when she talks about performing in the upcoming honor choir. “This choir is by far the most competitive choir I have ever sung with, she said. “I thank Mr. Carroll for putting in the extra work to submit our auditions for us. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have this opportunity.” After graduation, Coulthard will pursue a career in music education.
“I’m looking forward to performing in the honor choir,” said O’Neill, who wants to become an opera singer. During his junior year at Patrick Henry High School, the music student plans to engage in singing programs at schools such as the University of Houston, the University of Maryland, and the New England Conservatory.
“You really have to be at the top of your game to be invited to lead a choir like this,” said Carroll of his students. “Part of the appeal is the experience of working with other great singers, but also learning under the leadership of fantastic directors,” he said.
“Just the experience itself is the most rewarding element of the honor choir, and if the students want to go into music, it’s a wonderful thing to have on their resumes. The students will get some serious bragging rights and they have ensured themselves places in the trophy cabinet at school that displays the accomplishments of students. It’s less about winning a prize or award and more about being given a place in a top-notch choir made up of the best singers from the whole Southern region of the United States.”
The students will spend more than two days in rehearsals at the conference before performing in the concert. “The principal audience is members of the ACDA from the Southern Division. So this is really an impressive audience. It’s a tough crowd in the most positive and negative senses. No one listens to a choir more attentively with more care than a choir director,” Carroll said.
Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization which mission is the advancement of choral music. Carroll said he has a personal history with the ACDA conference. In 2007, the national conference was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus in which he was a member was the headlining performance at the conference.
Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students who passed a Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 exam will receive a ribbon, and the class will be rewarded with a pizza party! Business instructor Sarah Helton states, "Washington County was well-represented in this competition, winning 1st in both 1A (Patrick Henry High School) and 3A (Abingdon High School) with 61 & 84 credentials earned respectively." Other schools winning include: 2A Virginia High School, Bristol City-with 82 certifications earned; 4A John Handley High School, Winchester City-with 52 certifications earned; 5A Patrick Henry High School, Roanoke City-with 90 certifications earned; 6A Franklin County High School, Franklin County-with 52 certifications earned; 7A STEM H Academy, Botetourt County- Tech Center with 48 certifications earned. Ms. Helton has been impressed with students' drive to compete with one another and attain MOS Master Certifications. "Our business students have made individual goals this year, focusing on personalized credential attainment. Our goals involve achieving the higher tiers of credentialing, and aiming for MOS Master (5 successful credentialing exams, 2 of which are expert-level exams). Last school year Patrick Henry High School had 0 MOS Masters and this year (Aug-Nov) we already have 4. Our students are certainly deserving of this honorable achievement."
Patrick Henry High School Celebrates Veteran’s Day
The ceremony began with the Abingdon Fire Department posting the colors, followed by patriotic songs from the Rebel Wind Ensemble and the Rebel Voices Choir. This was followed by Key Club speakers and the Key Note Speaker, Mr. Johnny Rosenbaum. Also during the ceremony, veteran and Patrick Henry custodian Ms. Lesa DePietro performed a duet with choir director, Mr. Carroll. At the conclusion of the service, all veterans were invited to have refreshments in the library. During the reception, Key Club members had the opportunity to speak with veterans and hear many of their stories.
Students will now be able to hold each part, understand its biological makeup, and accurately piece together these organs, without the use of lab equipment and at a very affordable cost. When asked to comment on his most recent build, Devin states, “I was able to build a model that compares to an actual dissection for those students that require modification. Also, I feel this model can be utilized by students that have learning disabilities.” The models can be stored and used for years to come!
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November Male Rebel of The Month - Jarrett A.
Jarrett is the quintessential student-athlete. He maintains very high academic standards in rigorous classes while playing pivotal roles on the football team and the track team. Jarrett is very respectful to his teachers and works hard each class period to exceed expectations.
November Female Rebel of The Month - Lacy R.
Lacy is a great student and leader. She always has a smile on her face and is willing to help with anything with out being asked. She is very considerate and very inclusive. Lacy is a great leader and leads by example.
December Male Rebel of The Month - Vincent R.
Vincent is one of those students that I believe is often overlooked. Although he is not the “star student” or a great athlete, he completes his work to the best of his ability and his attendance is excellent. I am, however, nominating because he is probably the most respectful student that I have in class. He never disrupts, he is always where he is supposed to be, and he is pleasant and does not complain. Beyond that, he is also thoughtful. He asks me how I am every day, and as he leaves my room, he tells me to have a good day. His actions demonstrate his maturity, respect for others, and his thoughtfulness. I would like to recognize him for these qualities!
December Female Rebel of The Month - Amber C.
Amber is a very conscientious student with a great attitude and work ethic. She has helped tutor many of her peers and is a model for how to approach studying and preparing for class. Amber is very respectful to her teachers and strives to do her best each day.
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