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

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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