By Amy Davis
Music is an important part of every person’s life. From tapping rhythms on a table to blaring our favorite song in the car, we all enjoy having melodic noise surround us! The same can be said about the students involved in the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) All-State Chorus event in Athens, GA, February 14th, 15th, and 16th. There were four high school and two middle school groups in attendance, including both Buford’s high and middle schools.
A total of fifteen Buford students went this year, eight from the high school (Karrie Bryson, Quinn Conrath, Presley Dale, Hope Fowler, Jonathan Ingram, Jacob Lenz, Nathan Montini, and Hayes Stewart) and
seven from the middle school (Mariana Borja, Samantha Brody, Madisyn Christian, Mara Eva Cline, Maggie Dale, Teresa Moody, and Luke Riza). These individuals were given the opportunity to work with highly acclaimed chorus officials for three days to prepare a performance of college-level difficulty. No doubt, the students will remember the musical knowledge and their experiences during All-State Chorus for years to come!
Although the chorus singers often have natural talent, there are also people who help teach the students different musical techniques and help prepare them for all types of singing events. These individuals are Dr. Chris Fowler (High School Choral Director), Mrs. Joy Fowler (Vocal Instructor), Mr. Taylor Greer (Assistant Choral Director), and Mrs. Merideth Drake (Middle School Choral Director). Without their influence, the chorus students may not be as advanced as they are!
To acknowledge how experienced our directors are, two of them (Mr. Greer and Dr. Fowler) were selected to aide GMEA with All-State Chorus! Taylor Greer organized the Senior Men’s Choir while Chris Fowler accompanied the Senior Women’s Choir. For the past twenty-three years, Dr. Fowler has worked with the GMEA organization in this regard! Buford is lucky to have such well-qualified teachers to instruct its students!
While chorus may seem like just singing, the effort and hard work involved are unlike any other. The selecting process for All-State Chorus is quite rigorous; those auditioning have to sing a solo, three different scales, and sight read three other musical excerpts. If the students move onto the second audition, they must sing their individual part for a music piece in their chosen group.
These fifteen students should be recognized for their dedication and musical skills. Dr. Chris Fowler understands how huge an honor making All-State Chorus is, saying, “[It] is arguably the highest honor that a choral music student can receive in our state. We are extremely proud of these young people and they represented us with excellence throughout the entire process.”
Music can shape the life of anyone, whether it’s just someone listening to music or creating it! These Buford high school and middle school students may very well go on after graduating to become a chorus director themselves! If they continue excelling in their musical field and use their enthusiasm for singing as a weapon, they might end up being a highly renowned singer one day! Until then, let’s congratulate them on participating in All-State Chorus this year! It’s the first step towards a future only they can make!