Students ready voices for concert

April 04, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

Like many 13-year-olds, Shannon Draper speaks of her passions with pitched excitement.

"I love to sing," Draper said Friday. "It's a way for me to, I don't know, get my feelings out, and it always changes my mood."

Draper and about 60 other Washington County students will share their love of music Saturday when they join Alleghany County youths in a concert with the Children's Chorus of Maryland.

Mairee Carr, assistant artistic director of the children's chorus, said late last week the concert is the first collaboration of its kind with students from Washington County. The students, who were selected by their teachers to take part in the event, will perform with the chorus Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at North Hagerstown High School. Tickets cost $5.


Carr said participating in the traveling chorus gives students ages 5 to 17 an opportunity to learn vocal and performance skills. She said most students who are involved in the chorus live near Towson, Md., where it is based.

The chorus, with about 70 members, has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall and the White House, Carr said. Participants must audition. Carr said she believes the opportunity to sing with the chorus will give students such as Draper something "more to aspire to."

The event will begin in the morning with workshops and practices for participants. Elementary school students will perform three pieces and high school students will perform two. Area students have the opportunity to compete for solos, Carr said.

Rob Hovermale, instructional coordinator for visual and performing arts, said the concert gives Washington County students an opportunity they would not otherwise have. Students in grades three through eight will be selected to perform.

Draper said she can't wait.

"I'm really excited," Draper, a Springfield Middle School eighth-grader, said last week from her home in Williamsport. "I'm excited to see what the conductor will do because, you know, we sing the notes, but he's the one who's going to make it musical."

Educating students about music is a big part of the chorus' mission, Carr said.

"Who knows what kind of things you plant now, what will happen in the future?" Carr said.

Draper already believes she knows where her love for music will lead - she wants to become a vocal teacher.

"It's definitely a big part of my life," Draper said, "so I'm very excited."

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