By Mari Glover, Staff Writer
The voices of 150 middle school children filled the Armstrong Fine Arts building on Oct 17. These students, along with 350 other students from 28 schools throughout Southeast Georgia, came together to make the District One Honors Choir.
This event is hosted once a year by the Georgia Music Educators Association to display the finest young aspiring vocalists. Ray Ellis Jr, Choral Chair of the Georgia Music Educators Association and choral director at South Effingham Middle and High School, proudly celebrated his 26th year in music education this year.
When asked about the selection process of the students, Ellis answered, “Each school does it on their own.”
Every school holds rigorous auditions that the students must go through in order to have the chance to be selected.
“They have to do their own elimination at their school and bring their twelve best,” Ellis said.
The process ensures that students who participate in the District One Honors Choir are the best of the best.
The musical selection echoes the elite nature of the program. Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem” was a melodic entanglement of the cello and piano which carried along the voices of the High School Mixed Choir. One of its members, 17-year-old Jamie Jimenez, describes her connection to music, “I love singing because it brings more meaning to literature,” said Jimenez.
Liberty High School student and soon to be ASU Freshman Wain Wright, explained that one of the songs is from the Romantic Era. This period in art focused connecting with raw emotions and celebrating the joy in life, simply for the sake of being alive. When asked if singing the song was complex, Wright replied, “Oh yeah. It’s hard. It’s Latin.”