Music teachers organize inaugural City Honor Chorus
MADISON — The City Honor Chorus premiered this spring. Sixth-graders from all seven elementary schools in Madison performed in concert and at community events.
After several months in collaboration, Madison music teachers invited sixth-graders to audition in January. These teachers launched a website, allowing students to register for audition times and teachers to research and distribute music and identify judges and an accompanist,” Kristina Newsome said.
Newsome currently teaches at Heritage Elementary School.
Forty students were accepted into the honor chorus. Each music teacher rehearsed with qualifying students at their schools weekly during February and March. In April, all students gathered at the Mill Creek Elementary School for Thursday rehearsals and to learn vocal skills beyond their regular classes.
Teachers chose music that other honor choruses successfully had mastered. Their diverse program included “Firefly” (Andy Beck), “Hope of the Future” (Tom Shelton) and “River in Judea” (Linda Marcus, Jack Feldman, John Leavitt).
Soloists were Savannah Garcia of Heritage, Olivia Mullinix of Mill Creek and Abbey Patrick of Rainbow Elementary School.
This year, the chorus’ main goal was to perform at the Spring Arts Festival at Bob Jones High School in May. “Students were excited to hold both our dress rehearsal and performance in Zompa Auditorium,” Newsome said.
Like her colleagues, Newsome was eager to organize the chorus. Madison teachers “are driven to do great things for and with their students. It’s awesome to work with such authentic and inspirational people,” she said.
“So naturally, we music teachers are inspired to always look for ways to enrich our students,” Newsome said. They nurtured the children “to perform serious choral liturgy and open up a wonderful opportunity for students wanting to go that extra mile.”
Along with Newsome, music teachers are Dani Breitbarth, Audra Loftin and Traci Stewart. Elementary instruction coordinator Judy Warmath assisted in forming the chorus.