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Buncombe Sings in All-Carolina Select Choir
Buncombe Sings in All-Carolina Select Choir
Posted on 02/02/2018
By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department

When 140 gifted singers stand together, everyone knows something special is about to happen. The lights go down; applause rings out briefly, and then - silence. The conductor raises her hands and everyone breathes in together. Finally, the notes begin to ring out clearly, reverberating off the walls of the great hall. For those who love the strength, beauty, and electricity of a choir in unison, it doesn't get any better than this.

Hosted by Wingate University, the 9-10 All-Carolina Select Choir drew some of the best ninth- and tenth-grade voices in the state. Nearly 600 student singers auditioned, but only 140 were chosen for a two-day, intensive choral experience culminating in a concert in the university's impressive McGee Hall. The gathering allowed students to learn from proven professionals, collaborate with other singers, and find inspiration from seasoned performers, including the elite American Spiritual Ensemble. This year, ten percent (14 members) of the state-wide Select Choir hailed from Buncombe County Schools.

"The arts afford students the opportunity to grow as people," said Robert Summerell, Choral Director at Enka High. "Through events such as this one, the lives of our students are enriched and provided with experiences that last forever."

Students traveled to Wingate, North Carolina in January for Friday and Saturday clinics, rehearsals, and a final group performance. The singers from Charles D. Owen, Enka, T.C. Roberson, and North Buncombe high schools were thrilled to challenge themselves in new ways, and the local educators continually striving for these students couldn't be prouder.

"The arts are stronger than ever in Buncombe County Schools,” explained Jeannie Graeme, Choral Director at North Buncombe High. “Our talented students are regularly selected to participate in county, state, and national events, providing them with outstanding opportunities to grow musically by working with top rate clinicians.  They also get to meet other young musicians around the county and state who share their love of singing and joy from hard work to create beautiful music together."

Student Reactions:
"It was a wonderful experience! I love Wingate and its singing program. I made new friends and learned a lot of new things!" - Bryan Hahrahan, North Buncombe High

"Wingate was an amazing experience! We got to meet many new people and we were able to expand our knowledge as musicians. It was lots of fun and the end product was worth all the hard work." - Raegan Metcalf, North Buncombe High

“I had so much fun at Wingate this past weekend. The director of our group was great; the food was great; the campus was great, and everyone was just great! I hope I get the opportunity to come back again next year.” - Sophie Smith, Roberson High

“I loved my experience at Wingate. Dr. Aspaas was hilarious and the campus was beautiful… I hope I get to come back next year.” - Kathleen Kennerly, Roberson High

BCS Students in the 2018 9-10 All-Carolina Select Choir:
Khadjha Abrahms, 10th grade, Charles D. Owen High
Tristan Byrns, 10th grade, Charles D. Owen High
Kelsey Beck, 10th grade, Charles D. Owen High
Cassie Pless, 9th grade, Enka High
Brennan Latham, 10th grade, Enka High
Jesse Rhew, 10th grade, Clyde A. Erwin High
Bryson Hanrahan, 10th grade, North Buncombe High
Reagan Metcalf, 9th grade, North Buncombe High
Jeremy Walton, 9th grade, T.C. Roberson High
Jamie Derrig, 10th grade, T.C. Roberson High
Sophie Smith, 9th grade, T.C. Roberson High
Anaiya Adwaters, 10th grade, T.C. Roberson High
Kathleen Kennerly, 9th grade, T.C. Roberson High
Katie Stevens, 10th grade, T.C. Roberson High

(Special thanks to Mr. Robert Summerell for his assistance with the photo and details of this story.)
Learn more about the 9-10 All-Carolina Select Choir and the distinguished clinicians.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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