Local high school students enrich their voices at KC
KC Chorale opened up their choir stands to almost 200 high school students for a UIL All-State Choir Day Workshop on Thursday, Sept. 20.
Drs. Zachary Marshall and Mary Heiden ran the clinic. Faculty members Melanie Sullivan, Jeanne Johnson, and Jonathan Kaan along with David Barry Hill, KC alumni and current choir director at First Baptist Church in Kilgore, also assisted.
The clinic, organized to help the high schoolers prepare for All-Region and All-State auditions, set to take place in October. The choir day was free and included lunch in the Devall Student Center Ballroom and a T-shirt. The students were split into two groups directed by Marshall and Heiden with rehearsals taking place throughout the day.
“It should be our role to give back to the community and help the students prepare for auditions,” said Marshall, chorale director. “Choir days and camps similar to this are done at other schools, and that inspired me to bring this event to KC to bolster and cultivate music and assist in music education,” he added.
“Being accessible is the key,” Marshall said. KC choir students were excused to be available to sing with the high school students. “It was important for high schoolers to relate to the KC students, especially those who attended the same high schools,” he said. A concert was held later that day at 4:30 p.m. to showcase all students and what they had learned at the clinic.
“I want them all to grow musically,” Marshall said. He hopes the event brings attention to the KC choir program, so future students see KC as a viable option to further their education.
“If I had gone to something like this in high school, it definitely would have helped me understand music better,” said Malayna Stewart, KC chorale member, and White Oak freshman. “Choir day helped me feel involved in the KC choir. I felt like I was actually helping, and I got closer to my fellow chorale members,” Stewart said.
“It’s a challenge at a two-year school with new students coming in and others leaving, but you get to embrace it, reshape and bring voices together for a beautiful sound,” Marshall said.
The KC Chorale and KC Connection will be in the show “I Sing Because,” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at First Baptist Church in Kilgore.
Other performances scheduled for the year include a Veterans Day performance by the KC Chorale at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at First United Methodist Church in Longview.
“It should be our role to give back to the community and help the students prepare for auditions,”
~~- Dr. Zachary Marshall, Chorale director