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franklin county times

Russellville students sing at All-State Choral Festival

Russellville All-State Choir members got a chance to show off their vocal skills recently in the All-State Choral Festival March 10-12 at the BJCC in Birmingham.

Russellville members of the Alabama All-State Choir include Lakin Derrick for Middle School Treble Alto, Kaitlyn Balding for High School SSA Soprano 1 and Morgan Jenkins for High School SATB Soprano 2.

The Alabama Music Educators Association website explains the festival is an opportunity for students of “outstanding ability and initiative” to receive public recognition. In addition, they get the chance to perform “choral literature of the highest quality” and to sing under the direction of nationally-recognized clinicians.

“I extend huge congratulations to Kaitlyn Balding and Morgan Jenkins on an outstanding choral performance at the Alabama All-State Choral Festival,” said Aaron Freeman, choral director for RMS and RHS.

“I feel very privileged to get to work with these students and guide them along the way as they work toward achieving their musical goals. They are passionate and dedicated, and it shows. I’m proud of all they have accomplished.”

Jenkins called the event “an enriching experience where I am able to learn new vocal techniques that enhance my performances as well as new languages and cultures that expand my knowledge.”

“It is an event I am most grateful for as it is not only educational but I am able to meet and make friends with so many new people who share the same interest in music as me,” Jenkins added. “It is definitely an event I will miss after graduating, and I deeply encourage others who love music to partake in it as well!  

For Balding, All-State similarly proved to be an amazing experience. “It was so wonderful to get back to normal for this event, and I enjoyed my time immensely,” Balding said. “I enjoyed the time to improve my singing with our wonderful director and get to know other girls my age.

“The ability to get to spend time with the other girls from Russellville at All-State was one of the highlights of the weekend,” she added. “I loved getting to spend time with them, become even better friends, and make new memories.”

Freeman said Derrick also performed excellently, representing the middle school well.

“This was Lakin’s first live performance at this festival. It was virtual last year,” Freeman explained. “She was really excited about being able to go and perform and meet new people and network.

“I’m very proud of how they all did.”

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