Students selected for All-State Chorus

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By Ron Benningfield

Seven LaRue County students will sing in the KMEA All-State Kentucky Children’s Chorus, and another three in the Junior High Treble All-State Chorus Feb. 6 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville.


The Children’s Chorus members include Emmi Cline, Autumn Corbin, Katelyn Eads, and Beyonca Embree from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School; Isabella Thurman from Hodgenville Elementary; and Samantha Martin and Kaylee Whiteman from LaRue County Middle School.

“Between 500 and 600 fifth and sixth grade students from 130 schools and 12 KMEA (Kentucky Music Education Association) districts auditioned for spots in the chorus,” said Penny Akers, ALES music teacher. “Of those, 217 students were chosen to participate.”

The students auditioned through recordings that their teachers – Akers, Kathy Milby (HES), and Amber Jochim (LCMS) – sent to six KMEA judges who had about two weeks to score about 200 students each.  

Judges scored each child in three areas: tonal memory, harmony, and a solo selection.

“Students benefit academically, socially and personally from participation in performing ensembles,” she said. “Self-discipline skills learned through involvement in performing groups can benefit students in other academic areas.”

She noted how the study of choral music can enhance the student’s language, reading, and math literacy.  

“Let’s also not fail to mention what the child learns through the music that relates to social studies and geography,” Akers added. “Participation in a performing ensemble of this caliber can also benefit the students for life as they learn responsibility, teamwork, and exercise cooperation, self-expression and creativity.”

Junior High Chorus

Jochim said eighth graders Marisa Cecil and Taylor Metcalf, and freshman Cidney Neagle will perform with the junior high chorus after the children’s  chorus on the same day and  with a similar schedule. 

“Their audition included scale exercises as well as harmonic patterns,” Jochim explained. “They also had to sing ‘America the Beautiful.’”

Before the students perform, they will rehearse Feb. 5-6 at the Galt House in Louisville. Ruth Dwyer, an internationally recognized treble choir specialist and music educator, will conduct the chorus.

“Mrs. Dwyer is a frequent guest conductor and clinician for festivals, conferences, colleges and universities across the United States and abroad,” said Akers.