Local students attend Ithaca Gospel festival

WILLSBORO-Students from Willsboro and Peru got the chance to join with students from throughout the Northeast at an event centered around Gospel music.

A total of 19 students from the two schools took part in the 2011 Ithaca College Gospel Choir Festival, held on April 9 at the Ithaca College School of Music.

"Student and directors traveled from Baltimore, New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, Montpelier, Vt., Peru and Willsboro to immerse themselves in the art of gospel singing," said Willsboro music teacher Jennifer Moore. "The nearly 200 voices were accompanied by the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra under the direction of renowned choral conductor Linda Hall of Baltimore City College High School."

Moore said that the event was a tremendous experience for the students involved.

"This experience changed these kids' lives," she said. "The real power of a choral ensemble of that size allowed them to express themselves in ways that they had never even known were possible."

Moore said that she was pleased with how students from the college and other schools worked together throughout the event.

"The students who sing and live this music every day offered helpful instruction to my students," Moore said. "They offered words of encouragement when encouragement was needed and bolstered those who needed confidence to trust the process of learning this music." 

As for the concert itself, Moore said that it was a unique experience.

"When the kids sang their first notes in concert, they had everyone out of their seats clapping, crying, shouting out and feeling nothing but joy in the expression that only voices joined in song can bring about," she said.

Students attending the festival included Willsboro pupils Austin Ferris, Igor Aksentijevic (an exchange student from Montenegro), Sam Politi, Adam Robare, Will Feeley, Deanna Mero, Emily Mero, Brittany Schreiber, Katie Kirkby and Anna Daly.

Peru students included Adam Blain, Rob Holt, Carah Powell, Demi Delia, Jordan Haulton, Breanna Martineau, Allison St. Louis, Alec Pugh and Reanna Shields-King.

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