Beautiful Voices


Elementary music teacher Mrs. Sparks and senior Jacob Buckner

Ryan Odom

Music is a beautiful thing that can be traced to the very first human civilizations, and the Fair Grove High School Choir is all about music.  They practice to improve their voices and strengthen their diaphram to become better at singing. One of the biggest events they compete in is the Choir Solo and Ensembles.  This is a competition where a person alone or people in small groups perform the musical piece that they have been working on. They are judged on how well they control the key aspects of singing like breathing, tone, pitch, dynamics, rhythm, passion, balance and blend.

The choir teacher at Fair Grove, Audra Harmon, teaches the High School Choir during school hours along with practice before and after school as well.  Her in-school class is offered third hour. Mrs. Harmon explained, “We had 9 students participate in district solo and ensemble. One received a 1 rating, six received a 2 rating and two received a 3 rating. The fact that seven out of the nine students participating had never taken a solo before and were able to get the results that we did, is amazing.”  The rating scale for choir is based on numbers one through seven, a seven being a awful performance and a one being an outstanding performance. The people that earn a one on the stage get to move on to the state level and compete there.

Only one person made it to state this year,  Ben Hamilton. The judges thought this was truly an amazing musical piece he performed and awarded him with a rating of one.  Hamilton stated, “It felt great to make it to state. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared to get a one. I really thought I’d get a two but when I saw my score, it hit me that I was going to state.  I was overjoyed.” Singing takes a lot of natural talent to begin with plus a lot of practice added onto that. Every detail from how high you sing a note to when you take a gulp of air is very important in this competition that puts your musical skill under a microscope of judgement.

 The students must train long and hard to get to the point of perfection.  Mrs. Harmon indicated, “As far as my role in this process, other than giving guidance and help to pick out songs, there isn’t a lot that I really do. The whole idea of solo and small ensembles is that the kids who choose to go above and beyond what is expected in the choir.  This means that I meet with the kids before and after school to help them learn their parts for the songs, but at the end of the day, it is really up to them the amount of time and work they put into their solo.” Choir isn’t an activity you can just give half effort to and proveil, it requires dedication.  Hamilton agreed, “I practice a lot on my own, singing in my car, at home, or when I’m just doing random things. To remember my words, I’ll write them down every so often.” It takes hard work and practice but singing is music, and music is a good way to let go of the stress from life. It may not be a sport, but it requires all of the practice and dedication form students that a sport would, and unlike sports, when music hits you, you feel no pain.