All-State Junior Chorus singers spend weekend making music and friends

March 10, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • The All-State Junior Chorus performing Sunday at South Hagerstown High School includes Barbara Ingram School for the Arts student Josh Geblein, 14, bottom center.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — All-State Junior Chorus members sang, swayed and stomped their feet Sunday as South Hagerstown High hosted their concert, which drew a packed house.

Among the more than 150 singers on stage were two Washington County Public Schools students from Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

Ingram freshmen and Hagerstown residents Josh Geblein, 14, and Nadia McClain, 14, have been practicing since Friday with their colleagues from around the state, they said.

“It was awesome,” said Josh, a tenor. “Like, the whole weekend was just great. I’m wondering why they had to pick the warmest weekend, but whatever, it was just amazing. The director was awesome. Everybody was just awesome.”

Both students said they made new friends during the weekend, which involved rehearsals at the Clarion Hotel and Hager Hall Conference and Event Center.

“I’ve just made friends for life now. ... You don’t understand until you get into the atmosphere, of how it is, with all these students,” said Nadia, an alto.

Ingram student Belvine Foucha also was named to the All-State Junior Chorus, but did not participate in the concert.

The chorus featured students in grades seven through nine, said Rob Hovermale, the local school system’s supervisor of visual and performing arts.

Nadia’s mother, Sharon McClain, said their home has been “very loud, nonstop, dawn to dusk,” since Nadia was named to the All-State Junior Chorus. Nadia’s father is Richard McClain II.

“We’re really excited, very excited for him,” Josh’s dad, Dan Geblein, said before the concert.

Josh’s mother, Susy Geblein, said he has been working very hard preparing for the concert.

Josh said he has loved singing since he was a baby.

“My family’s just a musical family and I’ve always been surrounded by it,” Nadia said.

The concert ended with Josh’s and Nadia’s favorite song from the concert, “Baba Yetu.”

“Baba Yetu” won a Grammy in 2010 for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalist(s), according to the website for the song’s arranger, Christopher Tin. The song, which is The Lord’s Prayer sung in Swahili, was originally arranged for the video game “Civilization IV,” according to

“I love that song. We’re doing movements with it and it’s just a fun song to try and get into,” Josh said.

Nadia said she loves the song “because it’s such a powerful song and everybody loves it.”

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