The Pueblo Chieftan

Six youth honored by statewide choir

Six local youth choir members participated in a statewide honor choir, getting the chance to improve their skills under a nationally acclaimed director.

The six students are all part of Bella Prima Musica, the Pueblo West-based group of children’s choirs. Five of the students are in Bella Lyrica, with the sixth student coming from the Bel Canto group.

The students participated in an honor choir for the annual American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conference held in Denver each summer. The makeup of the choir changes each year, ranging from college students to elementary-aged singers, directors, all male voices and more.

This year’s honor choir was for grades 6 through 9 and was three-part soprano/alto harmony, for girls and unchanged boy’s voices. Directors of choirs throughout the state nominate students for the choir, and Chris Reed, Director for the Bella Prima Musica groups, was able to choose six students to participate.

“They’re all excited,” Reed said just before going to Denver for two days of rehearsal, followed by the concert. “They’re very well prepared. I knew for some of the kids this would be a great chance to grow. They’re doing so well and they’re ready for the next thing. Plus, this is a chance for them to meet kids from all over the state.”

The students are Sarah Audet (ninth grade, South High School), Maisie Edmonds (seventh grade, Liberty Point International), Sumner Grey (sixth grade, Swallows Charter Academy), Moriyah Holt (ninth grade, homeschooled from Colorado City), Destini Neal (eighth grade, LPI) and Piper Weingardt (eighth grade, Skyview Middle School).

The students learned five pieces of music with the assistance of a CD. Then, all 72 members of the honor choir got together July 22-24 to practice with Dr. David Brunner of the University of Central Florida before a performance on the evening of July 24 in Denver.

Reed said she was excited for her singers to have the experience of working with someone like Dr. Brunner, and also to sing with a large group of other talented voices.

Reed attends the ACDA conference each year. It brings together conductors from universities, schools, churches and other community choirs to learn from well-versed clinicians.

“They’re all university people and usually they have a Doctorate,” Reed said. “They’re very well-known in their fields and often have specialties. We learn so much.”

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