POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Sometimes finding harmony in high school is not so easy, unless you’re a choir member at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School.
Though the choir program has been around for awhile, it has been resonating in a higher register as of late.
This year, eight members of the high school choir have been selected as All-State Choir members and will be traveling to Charleston, W.Va., in March to perform with hundreds of their peers across West Virginia.
So, how do you get to All-State Choir? Practice, practice, practice.
PPJ/SHS Choir Director Crystal Hendricks said members trying out for the honor showed up for practice up to five days a week — and even on snow days — in preparation for a performance before judges at Cabell Midland High School. Due to the size of the choir at PPJ/SHS, eight members were allowed to participate in the tryout where they had to perform together, knowing it was rare for all members to make it through the audition and on to All-State Choir, but they did.
This is the second year Hendricks has directed the choir, which has grown to 215 members at PPJ/SHS. She said good things are happening at the school. All eight members passing their choral tryout seems to indicate she is right.
“I was very impressed with the way they sang as a group,” Hendricks said about her kids who had to balance an eight-part harmony.
The kids seem to be equally impressed with Hendricks since she’s taken over the choir program.
“Before she came here, our choir program was lacking,” choir member Madisyn Boswell said. “She’s been a blessing to our lives. She’s not just our teacher, but our friend.”
Joining Boswell in attaining All-State Choir honors are Gracie Cottrill, Christopher Johnson, Shayne Ward, Katherine Deem, Cierra Porter, Jamin Layton and Chase Denny.
Hendricks said though the accolades are nice, she hopes the students are making the types of memories in high school they can — and want — to take with them.
“That’s what’s important,” she said.
PPHS All-State Choir members will begin practices and perform at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium as a part of the West Virginia Music Educators Association Conference on March 10-12. The tryouts and choir are organized by the West Virginia Vocal Music Association.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.