Johnsburg Music Students Participate in Crane Honors Choir

NORTH CREEK Johnsburg Central School music students were invited to participate in the highly selective Crane School of Music Honors Choir this fall. The Honors Choir performed its annual concert this past Saturday at the Crane School of Music at Potsdam University, an institution where musically gifted individuals can earn a firstrate education with an emphasis on music. Talented students from a small number of schools in New York State come together each year for this special event. To be selected is an honor, particularly for a small school such as Johnsburg, one of only eight schools to be invited. In addition, only sixty students sang in this years choir, and Johnsburg had the most participants of all the schools involved. This is the first year that Johnsburg has been invited since choral director Mary Leech began her career at the school in 2004. It is very exciting because we have not been invited in a number of years. said Leech during her comprehensive music foundations class last Wednesday, Each individual school director has to be invited to bring students, so it is an honor to be invited. Its no coincidence however, that Johnsburg was given the opportunity. The school has long been known for having an extraordinary music department. We were chosen based on a history of high NYSSMA( New York State School Music Association ) scores and the fact that we had a student go to conference all-state and the MENC(Music Educators National Conference) all-eastern choir last year; I think its also just a history of having a good, solid choir., commented Leech. While the school itself was selected by Crane staff, Leech was given the difficult task of choosing only eight students to sing in the choir. I had to have complete quartets to make the choir balanced; we have to have an equal number of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses, she said. That was really difficult. The first cut-off I had was to only open it up to juniors and seniors. The selection had to be made last June, so last summer I came up with people who would be juniors and seniors and then worked around our athletic program. Leech admitted that it was still hard to select just eight singers, considering that there are many talented students involved in her program, but ultimately it came down to those who demonstrated musical potential, enthusiasm and dedication. Over a number of years these kids have shown interest in things like voice lessons, going to all-counties, singing at NYSSMA, being in pop-singers, participating in extra choral activities; these are the students who are constantly involved. The students chosen included sopranos Chelsea Smith and Elizabeth Bocinski, altos Samantha Shook and Hannah Jay, tenors Ben Cormack and Anthony Heid and basses Patrick Prouty and Tyler Morse. Soprano Elizabeth Bocinski was excited to be involved in the event,. I go to Crane a lot because I take tuba lessons there. The energy around there is so musical, its really cool. she said. Bocinski plans to pursue music after high-school and will be auditioning at Crane and Nazareth. Its going to be great when we get there because everybody who will be there will be so musical. commented alto Sam Shook. Its going to be a lot of fun. added tenor Ben Cormack.

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