Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Two WHS choir students 'Best of the best'


September 29, 2016

Tracie Mitchell

Worland High School All-National Choir members Chris Nicholas and Jaycee Page practice during their second hour class Wednesday morning.

WORLAND – Worland High School students Chris Nicholas and Jaycee Page worked hard to earn a chair in the Wyoming All-State Choir. After receiving that honor they learned that they had been chosen to join the "best of the best" for the National Association for Music Education's (NAFME) All-National Choir. The students will be performing as part of the choir during the NAFME 2016 National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas, Nov. 13.

According to Worland High School vocal music director Chad Rose, "The all-national choir is an audition-only honor choir sponsored by the National Association for Music Education, which is the predominant professional organization for music teachers, actually globally. It's a choir of about 300 students representing 49 states this year. They get together and rehearse for a few days and then perform music that they couldn't do otherwise, unless they had the best singers in the country."

Students must be part of the all-state choir to be part of the all-national choir. "The first thing is that it is only open to students who have made their all-state ensembles, so that's the qualifying mark. If you haven't made all-state you're not afforded the opportunity to audition. Then they have to submit an audition of two exerts and some range exercises to show what their vocal range is," Rose said. "It's screened by national screeners and only top students are selected," he added.

The students are the first Worland High School students to receive such an honor. "Every student that made all-state auditioned," Rose said. "There were only eight students selected from Wyoming and two were from Worland. They are the first two that we have ever had from Worland High School. Chris and Jaycee were selected on first nod," he added.

Both students are incredibly honored by this achievement. "It's quite an honor. I'm really glad to be picked. It's cool to be singing with a bunch of highly talented musicians from across the nation," Nicholas said.

Page had the same feeling stating, "It's a crazy opportunity to go and sing with kids from across the nation. It shows how many talent people there are. It's a super honor to be able to sing with other kids who are super talented."

Obtaining this honor could open doors for the two students. Rose said, "I'm super excited, I've had the opportunity to take students in my previous schools, I've had nine students selected before and I've had the opportunity to travel with them before to Nashville or D.C. is where we had it in those times. It's a good experience for these kids to be able to sing with students from all over the country. It's a great chance for them to get to meet kids from, really honestly way different cultures than what we have here. They are going to get to work with Anton Armstrong, the director of choirs at St Olafs, who's one of the world's most renowned conductors, so that's a terrific opportunity for them as well. But mostly, I think for these two kids, they get the opportunity to be rewarded for the work that they have done."

Rose added that the Marshazz and the choir program overall has really started taking a big step forward. "I think the honor for these kids kind of reflects that new direction that we are headed in. I think that it validates for the kids the work that they have put in and the progress that they feel that they have made," he said.

According to a press release from NAFME, "Chris Nicholas is a sophomore at Worland High School, and the son of David and Kathy Nicholas. He participates in basketball and the band program, as well as Marshazz, Worland high School's jazz choir. In 2016, Chris was selected for the Wyoming All-State Choir.

"Jaycee Page is a junior at Worland High School, and the daughter of David Page and Amber Page and participates in volleyball, basketball and soccer while singing in marshazz. She was selected for the 2016 Wyoming All- State Jazz Choir and the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) All-Northwest Choir, which performed in Seattle."

Worland student Dane Bennett was also honored by gaining first alternate for the All-National Concert Band. "There is also an all-national concert band, all-orchestra and jazz ensemble as well. Dane Bennett was selected as first alternate for oboe for the concert band, which puts him among the top seven oboe players in the country. Unfortunately, none of the people in front of him relinquished their spot so he's unable to attend. Dane is the first alternate that Worland High School has ever had," Rose said.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017