OUTLOOK: IN HARMONY: 31 local students chosen for all-state choir
Published 4:00 am Sunday, February 5, 2023
Vicksburg has an abundance of talent, and it is evident with 31 students from the community being chosen to participate in the All-State Honor Choir.
Being selected for this elite group will also include performing at the Mississippi Music Educators Association and the Mississippi American Choral Directors Association State Conference in Hattiesburg.
Students from the Academy of Innovation, River City Early College, St. Francis Xavier, Vicksburg Junior High School and Warren Central High School will all be part of the ensemble. Each of the students participate in an audition before being selected, and to prepare for his audition LaMarcus Igbokwe-Martin said it meant doing vocal warm-ups.
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“The thing that helped me most (to prepare) was the vocal exercises that we go through in the morning (during choir rehearsals at school). That helped me a lot,” Igbokwe-Martin said.
Igbokwe-Martin, a seventh-grade AOI student, said studying the notes from the selections of music used for the auditions was another thing he did to prepare. And it wasn’t just the notes he had to practice — one of the selections of music was in Latin.
“It was hard,” he said, especially since Igbokwe-Martin was not familiar with the language. But the more he practiced, he said, the more words became familiar.
For the second year, AOI eighth-grade student Melissa Savage made the SSA State Honor Choir, which is an all-girls choir.
“The first year I auditioned for the choir, I’m not going to lie I was very scared,” Savage said, even though she had practiced non-stop.
“I worked and worked and worked,” she said, to the point that her voice hurt when she got up in the morning. But apparently, the practice had paid off.
This year, like Igbokwe-Martin, Savage had to perform a song in a foreign language — Italian. She said she was not as nervous since she had already been through the audition phase last year.
Savage said she is excited to be part of the state honor choir again this year since she enjoyed last year’s experience.
“It is so much fun. They take us places to go look at other choirs,” she said.
The ACDA/MMEA State Conference, in which the All-State Choir will perform, will run from March 23 through 25.
Once students arrive in Hattiesburg, “It’s straight to work. They go into a big rehearsal hall, and they rehearse all day,” AOI choral director Cody Nelson said.
“It’s like we rehearse from 7 in the morning until 12 or 1,” Savage said.
Nelson said the children do get breaks, and during the evenings they have the opportunity to attend concerts sponsored by the University of Southern Mississippi.
Local students who made the All-State Choir are:
AOI – Landon Brown, LaMarcus Igbokwe-Martin, Bryson Covington, Alyssa Clemts, Madison Ramsey, Ke’Marrion Shepard, Seth Lugo, Brayden Lugo, Fisher Taylor, Melissa Savage, Chloe Hardy, Amnesty Tyler, Ariel Miller and Tiara Davis
River City Early College – Riley Comans, Alan Lee, Peter Williams, Cody Wells, Ellie Tennison and Seth Cochran (Not Pictured)
St. Francis Xavier – Carter Lutrell, Madie Raines, Grace Edwards, Luella Lambiotte and Louis Amborn
Vicksburg Junior High School – Jessica Moore
Warren Central High School – Addi Wilson, Grace Feibelman, Akirah Watkins, Breanna Wells, and Tye Moseley