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GAHS vocalists to sing in festival

March 28, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Greencastle-Antrim High School senior Brittany Lackey will end high school on a high note, literally, when she performs soprano at the Pennsylvania All-State Chorus Festival in April.

Lackey and junior Sallianne Crawford, an alto, were the only two vocalists from Greencastle-Antrim High School selected to sing in the festival.

"States," as the girls called it, is an incredible honor, they said.

"Oh, I am really excited," Lackey said. "The chance to be able to sing with the best singers in the state, to be part of that mature sound, is so awesome."

All-State chorus features the creme de la creme of high school vocalists, said Martha Fuchs, choral director at Greencastle-Antrim High School.

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Singing one's way to states is a difficult, yearlong process.

"I went to states when I was in high school, so I know how grueling this was for them," Fuchs said. "We have been working since July and August to get them prepared, and now they have taken it the whole way."

The journey to states starts at the district level, Fuchs said.

More than 700 students from seven counties in District 7 auditioned last fall for the 200-member chorus.

Out of those 200 vocalists, only 13 from each vocal range were selected to sing at the regional festival in February.

To make states, the girls had to be in the top six in their vocal range after auditions at the regional festival, Fuchs said.

Lackey said she ranked second in the second soprano vocal range, and Crawford said she ranked fourth in the alto vocal range.

"This just shows the kind of raw talent we have in Greencastle," Fuchs said. "They weren't barely making it into the all-state festival. They were well in the top."

As for their "raw talent," the girls credit God and the professionals, including vocal teachers and Fuchs, who helped them develop their silver throats.

With a few weeks until the festival, the girls admitted they have not started practicing the music, which includes pieces such as the a capella "N'Gana," an aboriginal song about fish.

For now, they said they are focused on the school play "Hello, Dolly!" Both Lackey and Crawford have leading roles in the play, which opens April 3.

But that doesn't mean the girls aren't eager to go to states.

"It will be so nice to go together, to have a friend there," said Crawford, who attended the state festival last year and the All-Eastern festival in March.

"States will be great because we get to see the state orchestra and state bands at the festival," Lackey said. "There is no better way to end the year."

Crawford will be able to audition for All-Eastern again at the state festival, but because it only is held every other year, Lackey, who is a senior, said she is not eligible.

That is fine with Lackey, who said she is focused on her college auditions at the moment.

"I plan to major in music education," she said, adding with a laugh, "I just have to get in first."

The All-State Chorus Festival will be April 22 to 25 in Philadelphia.

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