WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Thousands of people filled the Performing Arts Center at the Waynesboro Area Senior High School to listen to singers from 80 different school districts perform in Saturday’s regional Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region V Chorus concert.
“This is the one of the finest choirs you could ever hear and the concert is right here in Waynesboro,” WASHS vocal music director Eric Griffith said.
The concert featured 210 singers from Pennsylvania schools in 15 different counties, according to event organizers.
“Much hard work and preparation has gone into being selected, and indeed this is no small feat,” WASHS superintendent James Robertson said.
Dr. Stephen Barr was the guest conductor for the concert. He is an assistant professor and director of choirs at Slippery Rock University, Pa.
Waynesboro senior Brad Barkdoll worked hard to beat out singers from across the state to participate in the regional concert.
“It’s a big deal because this takes a lot of work to get here. I auditioned against about 80 the first time (in the eight counties in the district) then I had to audition against another 25 to compete in regionals,” he said.
His family came to watch the concert and support their son.
“I’m happy to be here, because it’s a great accomplishment to actually make it here because it’s so prestigious,” he said.
Three students from Waynesboro, two from Greencastle-Antrim and one from Chambersburg participated in Saturday’s PMEA Region V Chorus Concert, Griffith said.
“All these kids are the cream of the crop. So, it’s really a big deal (to make it to this level),” G-AHS junior Madeline Heraty said.
This is her first year competing at regionals.
“Singing in a group with this many great singers is an experience you don’t get every day,” G-AHS junior Josh Spoonhour said.
The soccer goalkeeper practiced as hard for regionals as he does for his athletics.
“I worked really hard to get here,” he said. “I love singing, and it was a competitive process to get to this level.”
It took Lynn Smith and her family two hours to drive to the concert from Lancaster, Pa.
It’s her daughter Rebecca’s first year at regionals and the Smith family wasn’t going to miss it.
“They start rehearsing for this way back in September. First you have to make county then you make district and at district you audition for regionals so it’s intense,” Smith said.
Rebecca was the only girl from her high school to make regionals. Smith said.
During regionals, the singers audition for states and are informed following the concert.
They only take six on each voice part for state so it’s even more competitive, Smith said.