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Honors Chorus is a positive glimpse of hope in today’s youth

By Lydia Adkins
For The Salisbury Post
The East Rowan Honors Chorus is more than a group of singers in the Salisbury area. They are a positive glimpse of hope in today’s youth.
The news emphasizes stories dealing with the problems and violence of youths. Through the music ministry of the Honors Chorus, the community is able to see that good teenagers still exist.
As a member of the Honors Chorus, I have seen the effect that our music has on the people of Rowan County, in our state and beyond.
The Honors Chorus reaches out to the community through numerous concerts, including concerts on Sunday mornings that we perform at churches throughout the county.
Within three weeks of the start of school, our choir knew and was able to perform the equivalent of a full concert the following Sunday morning. By performing at churches, I am able to experience many different types of worship, and our group is able to share our God-given talents.
Our choir has also performed at Abundant Living Adult Day Services and the YMCAs.
On May 31, our choir, along with the trio One Faith, will perform a benefit concert for Nazareth Children’s Home and the Black Mountain Special Needs Animal Rescue. As a choir, we believe that we should share our amazing talents to help others.
Every March, the Honors Chorus competes with other choirs from all over North Carolina at Wingate University. Music professionals judge choirs on tone, diction, interpretation and balance. East Rowan is known throughout the state as consistently having one of the best choirs, and we have continued this tradition of excellence by receiving superior ratings in mixed, men’s and women’s choirs.
Many judges have remarked on their score sheets that they cannot believe we are a high school choir. Most of the judges say they only expect our sound, balance and tone quality from college choirs.
In April, we traveled to Virginia Beach, Va., to the Fiesta-Val 2008. At this choral competition, high schools from all over the nation compete to be crowned grand champion. The choirs are once again judged by professionals with the same criteria used at state competitions.
We returned from Virginia Beach with 10 trophies, including first-place champion in men’s, women’s, gospel, chamber and mixed choirs, as well as overall grand champions! This is the fourth year in a row we have been grand champions.
If you ask anyone in Honors Chorus what brings them the most joy, it is definitely the actual performance. When I am waiting backstage, I have butterflies in my stomach and no matter how much our choir has rehearsed, I still know that there are things that could be polished.
Once you step on the stage, it is the best thing in the world. You know you have to entertain and impress the audience. The first sound is what the judges and audience remember ó this concept has been drilled in my head since I first started singing at my church.
I have been singing with Mr. Orbison for four years, which is long enough to know that he is a perfectionist. Even though no one can perform a song perfectly, Mr. Orbison pushes us to our highest potential. By pushing us, he makes us focus on the music harder, which makes us dedicated musicians.
The members of the East Rowan Honors Chorus are more than just a choir. We are a family, and part of a tradition.

Lydia Adkins is a senior at East Rowan High School.

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