A Banner year for the Music Program at St. Mary’s School! Students Recognized for their Talents by Selection in Multiple Honor Choirs

music 1We are pleased to announce that St. Mary’s School students Elizabeth Brands, Sophie Sherlock, and Gabriella Wilkerson were selected to participate in the 2016 TN Treble Honor Choir.  The singers sang under the direction of Dr. Derrick Fox, assistant professor of choral music education and choral conducting in the Ithaca College School of Music.  The Tennessee Music Educators Association commissioned a piece to be performed at the conference opening concert and ceremonies.  The piece entitled “Honeybees” was composed by Andrea Ramsey. Dr. Ramsey attended the conference and rehearsed with the choir as well as attended the choir’s premier performance of her composition.
The Tennessee Treble Honor Choir is an auditioned choir made up of 130 – 150 of the best 5th and 6th grade students from schools throughout the state of Tennessee.  Each student submitted a solo audition recording of her or him singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” in the keys of F and A Flat.  A committee of music educators from across the state adjudicated the auditions listening for pitch accuracy, tone quality, diction, ability to use chest and head registers, and phrasing.  The Treble Choir performed at the Tennessee Music Education Association Professional Development Conference held April 13-14 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
St. Mary’s Students also participated in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Southern Division Honor Choir in Chattanooga March 9-11.music 2
Marigrace Tidwell (8th grade) was 1 of 8 students chosen to sing in the Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir from the state of TN and THE ONLY singer from East Tennessee.  The JHMS Choir was comprised of 140 singers.  Marigrace sang under Dr. Judy Bowers, a master teacher who truly understands MS/JH kids!  She is Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University.   Marigrace also had the opportunity to meet the composer David Brunner as he visited their Friday rehearsal.  He listened to them perform his piece “Cantate Domino”, participated in a question and answer session with the ensemble, and hand signed each singer’s “Cantate Domino” octavo!
Anna Kasemir (7th grade) was 1 of 18 students chosen to sing in the Treble Honor Choir from TN and 1 of 2 from East TN.  The Treble Honor Choir was comprised of 134 singers.   Anna Kasemir sang under Tom Shelton, a composer-conductor, and sang, “Alleluia,” a piece composed by Mr. Shelton for the ACDA Southern Division Convention  Tom Shelton is an Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College where he focuses on children’s and youth music.
St Mary’s School participated in the East Tennessee Vocal Association Honor Choir Event held on November 20-21 in Chattanooga, TN.  This year’s All-East Junior High/Middle School Honor Choir was made up of over 275 advanced 7th & 8th grade vocal students from 29 schools throughout East Tennessee.
music 3Students learned and memorized their voice part on five pieces of music prior to attending the honors chorus. This year’s conductor was Deborah Dunne Sousa, Director of Music at the Episcopal School of Knoxville and Lecturer in Music Education at the University of Tennessee, where she teaches courses in elementary and middle school vocal music methods, supervises field experience and oversees student teachers and interns in elementary and middle school vocal music education.  Congratulations to our 7th and 8th grade students.  Left to Right: Mrs. Carol Villaverde- SMS Music Teacher, McKenna Garibay, Sydney Mesmer, Marigrace Tidwell, Paige Halcrow,  Molly Deinhart, Ethan Sherlock, Joshua Harris, Ian Kilevori, & Anna Kasemir (Not Pictured).