Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

December 20, 2013

Five picked for Kentucky all-state choir

By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Five Glasgow students have been named to the Kentucky Music Educators Association All-State Choir, and will perform in concert with youth from across the state in Louisville as part of the Kentucky Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference.

The students are: Drew Richardson, South Green Elementary, fifth grade; Brianna Crowder, South Green Elementary, fifth grade; Dru Smith, Glasgow Middle School, sixth grade; Wesley Frazier, Glasgow Middle School, eighth grade; and Symon Applegate, Glasgow Middle School, eighth grade.

“It’s a huge honor for them to be able to make this choir because it is very competitive,” said Tambra Cambron, who teaches music at South Green Elementary. “They are scored on various elements of music like rhythm, pitch, their articulation and various other things.”

Their audition piece has “to be pretty much flawless to make it,” Cambron said.

The students were required to audition for the choir, and their auditions were done via digital recording.

The song they each had to sing was a new arrangement of “America the Beautiful We Are the People.”

Crowder, Richardson and Dru Smith will perform as part of the Kentucky Children’s Choir, which will be composed of fifth- and sixth-grade students from across the state.

The song was a difficult audition piece because it features a lot of high vocal range areas, Cambron said.  

In addition to singing “America the Beautiful We Are the People,” the students also had to sing several musical patterns.

“I would play something on the piano and they had to echo back the pattern,” said Doug Smith, who teaches choir at Glasgow Middle School and worked with Dru Smith on his audition piece. This is Dru Smith’s second time to qualify for all-state choir.

Cambron did the same thing when working with Crowder and Richardson on their auditions.

Cambron and Doug Smith played harmonic patterns on the piano and the students sang other sets of notes in harmony.

Frazier and Applegate, who will perform as part of the Kentucky Junior High Chorus, which will be composed of seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students from across the state, also had to sing “America the Beautiful We Are the People,” but they had to sing it a capella.  

All five agreed auditioning for all-state choir was difficult. They all practiced extensively before doing their actual audition recording.

Dru Smith made several recordings before he was satisfied with one to submit for competition.

“He was very hard on himself,” Doug Smith said.

Dru Smith admitted he is his own worst judge and does so “because I want to do my best in everything that I do. I want to be the top and I want to be successful in what I do.”

For Richardson, the most difficult aspect of the audition was singing the high notes.

“I’m not used to high [notes],” he said.

Frazier found it difficult because he wasn’t all that familiar with the song.

“I’ve heard that song before but I’ve never sang it without accompaniment at all, so it was really hard for me because I just never tried it before,” he said.

Applegate agreed it was difficult, but said, “I came through in the end.”

All of the students enjoy singing, but for various reasons.

Dru Smith sings at his church, Coral Hill Baptist Church and along with the radio.

“I like to make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” he said.

Richardson likes to sing because it is entertaining. He also sings at his church, Glasgow Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Crowder enjoys it for an entirely different reason.

“I like doing it because I’m in a lot of plays, sometimes musicals, and it helps me a lot,” she said.

The students’ performance will take place in Louisville on Feb. 6.

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