More than 200 elementary and middle school students from across Lenoir County will assemble Saturday as the LCPS All-County Honors Chorus to perform a free concert of classical and contemporary art music.
The fourth annual event begins at 2 p.m. at Kinston-Lenoir County Performing Arts Center.
The chorus represents students from all 12 LCPS elementary and middle schools. The fourth and fifth graders who make up the elementary group will perform four songs, as will the middle school students. The two groups come together for the finale, a spirited rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The students have practiced at their school for months, but will unite as an elementary chorus and a middle school chorus for the first time the day before the concert, when they will also meet and begin to work with their respective conductors. The two groups rehearse together the morning of the concert.
Conducting the elementary group this year is Dr. Raychl (cq) Smith, assistant professor of music education at East Carolina University. The middle school singers will perform under the baton of Paul Flowers, choral director at Hope Middle School in Pitt County.
Returning as accompanists are Sheila Miller, music teacher at Pink Hill Elementary, and Jacob Mewborn, director of music ministries at Queen Street United Methodist Church in Kinston. Both have worked with the concert as accompanists – Miller with the elementary group and Mewborn with the middle schoolers – since its inception.
For the young singers, it’s an experience draped in professionalism.
“Organizing this concert each year is in some ways a dream come true for me,” Christine White, music educator at Banks Elementary School, said. “It is extremely fulfilling as an educator to know that I can reach beyond the four walls of my classroom and impact the musical opportunities of students all across our county.”
White was part of that corps of LCPS music educators that conceived and organized the inaugural concert four years ago and has taken a lead role in ensuring the performances continued.
“It is definitely an extraordinary amount of work, but I receive a great deal of support and assistance from Lenoir County Public Schools’ administrative team and my music education colleagues,” she said. “Together we are providing a broadening and enriching experience for our students that they would not otherwise have.”