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Homeschool Choir sounds a festive note

December 17, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- The scene was one that could have come from any Christmas storybook.

Voices from young children reaching for the notes in songs like "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells" and "Get on Board this Train" echoed across a room Thursday night in the Virginia Avenue Baptist Church.

It was the first public performance of the Western Maryland Homeschool Choir, which is the brainchild of Ruth Seiler.

Seiler is a choral director who, along with her husband, moved from New Mexico to the area this summer.

Seiler was involved in a homeschool choir before moving here and she contacted local homeschool groups to see if they would be interested in developing a homeschool choir.

Homeschool choirs are a good way for homeschooled students to socialize, Seiler said.

Seiler said 16 homeschool students signed up for the choir, and she started working with the children on vocal technique.

"I'm really, really proud of the kids. They've worked hard and they sound good together," Seiler said before Thursday night's performance.

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Officials at the Virginia Avenue Baptist Church have allowed the group to use the church for practices and performances, Seiler said.

About 35 people watched members of the choir make their way through numbers like "Oh How Lovely the Evening."

The performance was highlighted by offerings like a piano solo by Kielen Shea, who played "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven.

Shea said singing in the choir has "really made me braver." Skyla Heise, 10, sings in the choir with her 12-year-old sister.

"It's kind of challenging because of the high notes," Skyla said.

Seiler had spectators join the choir in singing the first two songs.

"They're going to sing their hearts out," Seiler said of the group as she introduced them.

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