More Than 200 Choral Students Sing at Catawba during Honor Choir Festival
January 8, 2013
More than 240 middle and high school choral students participated in the first annual Catawba College Honor Choir Festival held Friday, January 4th, 2013 on Catawba's campus. Those participating were seventh through twelfth grade students who had been selected from participating schools across North Carolina. They rehearsed throughout the day and offered a well-attended evening performance at 7 p.m. in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel.
The students were divided among three honor choirs: men's chorus, women's chorus, and 7-10th grade mixed chorus. The guest directors for these groups were Greg Detweiler, choral director at Morehead State University; Sheryl Jones, former director of the Longhorn Singers at The University of Texas; and Dean Orbison, choral director at East Rowan High School. Catawba College choral students also sang along with the honor choir students and offered a set of music during the evening performance under the direction of Catawba College Choral Director Dr. Jimmy Shepherd.
Throughout the day, junior and senior high school participants had the opportunity to audition for music scholarships and there was also a solo voice competition. The winners of this competition received awards and sang their solos at the 7 p.m. concert.
The vocal competition winners were Gabrielle Wagner, Lake Norman High School; Taylor Hawes, South Columbus High School; Ryan Seenanan, Lexington Senior High School; and Joan Hedrick, Weaver Academy.
"The first annual Catawba Honor Choir Festival was a great success! There are similar festivals in eastern and western North Carolina, but nothing in the central part of the state," explained Dr. Jimmy Shepherd. "We were able to offer a valuable educational experience here on our beautiful campus led by top notch choral instructors.
"Also, our Catawba students gained hands on experience as leaders and participants in the camp. They were essential in its success. Although the turnout was fantastic, with over 200 in the choirs and nearly 700 concert attendees, I am sure many more schools will want to participate next year."
Participating schools included East Rowan High School, West Rowan High School, West Henderson High School, North Iredell High School, Queen's Grant High School (Matthews), South Columbus High School, Surry Central High School, Lake Norman High School, Erwin Middle School, Brown Middle School (Davidson County), Lexington Senior High School, Saint Mary's School (Raleigh), and Thomasville High School.
Contact Dr. Shepherd at email@example.com for information about future choir festivals planned at Catawba.