Students tune in to 'gift of music'

October 24, 1997


Staff Writer

Junior Corrie Bowers said she never knew she could sing until she joined the concert choir class at Hancock Middle-Senior High School.

Now the 16-year-old is singing solos and making plans to include music in her professional life.

Bowers was one of several Washington County students performing in the All-County Honor Choruses Thursday night at North Hagerstown High School with aspirations to sing professionally.

The concert is good experience for many youngsters who might not have an opportunity to find out what it sounds like to perform with a large group, said Bowers.


The All-County Middle School Honor Chorus of 142 students was conducted by Dean Warrenfeltz, a Smithsburg High School graduate and principal of Hedgesville High School in West Virginia.

John Jacobson, president and founder of the nonprofit charitable group America Sings Inc., conducted 156 students in the All-County High School Honor Chorus.

While the high school chorus sang pop tunes, Bowers said she probably will find herself singing mostly hymns as an adult since she wants to be a missionary.

The middle school chorus performance included a lesson in musical terms during the song "Pardon the Expression."

The chorus demonstrated the meaning of piano (to sing softly) and forte (to sing loudly) to audience members who got a chance to sing during the intermission between the two choruses.

At least two of the night's performers plan to teach music.

"I want to share the gift of music I have been blessed with with other people and give the gift of music," said Stephanie Hummel, 17. The North High senior wants to be an elementary or middle school music teacher.

North High junior Henry O'Neill, 16, said he wants to be either a private piano instructor or a public school music education teacher.

"I've been into music since I was 3 and it's just blossomed into something I love to do and something I want to do with the rest of my life," O'Neill said.

Some students said they want to share their love of music with others by making a career of performing on stage.

Williamsport High School senior Adam Tackett, 17, said he has already performed lead roles in musicals such as "Little Shop of Horrors" and "A Christmas Carol." He plans to major in musical theater in college.

Tackett credits his love of musical theater to Choral Director Ruth Ridenour, who introduced him to it during his freshman year.

Katie Miles, 15, also wants to try her hand at a Broadway musical, preferably "Les Miserables," said the Clear Spring High School sophomore.

Miles said her love for music grew out of singing with her father and older sister at church and in town contests. They sang just about anything, including country and gospel, she said.

"I just like expressing myself. I feel I express myself best through singing," Miles said.

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