Students advance to District Chorus Festival

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

Six MAHS students attend 2024 PMEA District Chorus Festival.

Six students from MAHS were selected to perform in the 2024 PMEA District 6 Chorus Festival held January 24 through 26 at Westmont Hilltop High School. Following a extensive audition process, the following students earned a spot in the annual festival: Laurel Daniels, Alto II; Avery Logsdon, Alto II; Destinne Manuel, Tenor I; James Kretchman, Bass II; Ryan Sechler, Bass II; and Kylee Haer, Soprano II.

The program, “The Road Home,” featured the following selections: “Lincoln,” by Alex Berko; “The Road Home,” by Stephan Paulus; “She Took His Hands (SSA)”, by Nicholas Clibe; “An die Heimat,” by Johannes Brahms; “Jeremiah’s Fire,” by Rollo Dilworth; “Shenandoah,” by James Erb; “Down in the Valley,” arr. by George Mead; and “Danny Boy,” arr. Joseph Flummerfelt.

MAHS students joined students from the following school districts for the festival: Altoona, Bedford, Bellwood-Antis, Berlin, Bishop Carroll, Bishop McCort, Blacklick Valley, Cambria Heights, Central Cambria, Central-Spring Cove, Chestnut Ridge, Claysburg-Kimmel, Conemaugh Township, Conemaugh Valley, Everett, Ferndale, Forest Hills, Greater Johnstown, Holidaysburg, Johnstown Christian, North Star, Northern Bedford, Northern Cambria, Penn Cambria, Portage, Richland, Rockwood, Salisbury-Elk Lick, Shanksville, Somerset, Turkeyfoot, Tussey Mountain, Tyrone, Westmont Hilltop, Williamsburg and Windber.

Dr. Corey Everly served as the Guest Conductor for the event, preparing students with rigorous rehearsals in preparation for the public concert held on January 26. Everly is a coach, conductor and voice teacher specializing in musical theatre styles and technique.

At the conclusion of the festival, the following students learned they will be advancing to perform in the PMEA Region III Choir Festival planned for March 6 through 8: Logsdon, Haer, Manuel, Kretchman and Sechler. Auditions were held during the District festival.

For the senior members of this elite group, Logsdon and Daniels, attending District Chorus was an emotional event.

“Experiencing my last District Chorus was definitely heartfelt. I’ve made several great friends through districts and I’ll miss participating in such a wonderful event,” Logsdon explained. “I have been blessed to be able to advance to Regionals, which is also a great experience for me to participate in.”

For Manuel and Haer, this first time to the District festival was exciting and fulfilling.

“Being a part of this inspiring festival was very memorable. I made so many new friends as I was surrounded by so many talented individuals,” Haer explained. “I am beyond excited for Regional Chorus to meet more people and make new friendships!”

“It was an amazing experience to be part of this as there were many amazing singers,” added Manuel.

“These students worked relentlessly on their district repertoire, and they should be proud of their hard work. This was one of the most difficult district level folders I’ve seen in a long time,” explained Labrina Ritchey, High School Choir Director. “It is always amazing to watch a choir of students who are almost complete strangers on day one perform an outstandingly beautiful concert on day three. I’m very thankful to have this specific group of students, who go above and beyond my expectations.”