Courtesy of Harlan County Schools

Harlan County students participating in all-festival choirs in fifth- through ninth-grade were, from the left, Laci Deaton, Heather Gibson and Jaylyn Dillman.

County students perform in All-Festival Choirs

Students from Rosspoint and Evarts elementary schools recently participated in the Southeast Kentucky Music Association’s All-Festival Choirs for students in fifth- through ninth-grade.

The choir is organized by standing members of Southeastern Kentucky Music Association, Kentucky Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education Association.

Heather Gibson and Jaylyn Dillman, students at Rosspoint Elementary School, participated in the All-Festival Children’s Chorus. The Children’s Chorus was conducted by Bell County High School Choir Director Jonathan Wyatt and accompanied by Harlan County High School choir director and Director of District-Wide Services, Jeanne Ann Lee. Song selections centered around a nature theme and included “Did you Ever See a River” by Craig Curry, “Festival Alleluia” by Allen Pote, “Ribbons in the Sky,” “In the Arms of an Oak” and “Firefly” all by Andy Beck.

Laci Deaton, an eighth-grader at Evarts Elementary School participated in the Junior High All-Festival Chorus. The Junior High Chorus was conducted by Shawn Sizemore, South Laurel Middle School choir director and accompanied by Red Bird High School Choir Director Mark Smallwood. Song selections included “Kyrie” by John Leavitt, “Homeward Bound” by Marta Keen, “Rhythm of Life” by Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman, “Good News! Chariot’s A-Comin” arranged by Greg Gilpin and “Glory Bound” arranged by Glenda Franklin.

The two choirs joined together in a culminating performance of “Awaken the Music!” by Greg Gilpin. The joint piece was conducted by festival founder, Jon Oliver, music teacher and choir director at Hunter Hills Elementary School in London.

The festival included students from schools across Southeast Kentucky and was held at the First Baptist Church in London.