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franklin county times

RES fifth-grade chorus performs ‘Sing, Smile, Inspire’ show

The Russellville Elementary School fifth-grade chorus filled the RCS Auditorium with the sound of music May 17 in their show titled “Sing, Smile, Inspire.”

“I wanted to do a show that would inspire and bring a smile to our audience, so that’s where the theme came from,” explained RES chorus teacher Lauren Ritter.

The group included 45 students, selected by auditioning. The show consisted of six group songs and six solos, with the soloists researching songs to fit the theme and auditioning to perform their selected solos.

“They worked really hard,” explained RES principal Kristie Ezzell. “The students prepared for this performance for months. They practiced before, during and after school. Mrs. Ritter works really hard with them. We have so much talent, and it’s nice to see the results of their efforts as school is coming to a close for the year.”

Songs performed included “Eye of the Tiger,” “Here Comes the Sun” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Among soloists were Avery Willis singing “Scars to your Beautiful,” Aleya Lane singing “Rise Up” and Layla Rush singing “Hero.”

Paxton Smith sang “Be a Light,” and the chorus, along with soloist Brynn Ridge, performed “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Doris Chan sang “Try Everything,” and the audience was treated to “A Million Dreams” by Brandtley Benford, Collins Odom and Zoe Hartsell.

The chorus performed “We are the World,” along with soloists Erika Sosa, Kimber Francisco, Weston Fugate, Macy Hall, Jaylee Black, Delilah Landers, Jacqueline de la Rosa Velasquez, Brody Boatwright, Ruby Tomas, Jocelyn Garcia, Haley Freeman, Isaiah Racz and Elijah Walker.

The chorus also, along with Kimber Francisco, Brandtley Benford, Haley Freeman, Oliva Cantrell and Sara Contreras, performed “This is Me.”

“I’m excited to see what the future holds for our students,” said Aaron Freeman, choral director for RMS and RHS. “It was a phenomenal performance and a wonderful way to recognize the talent of our students.”

RHS band director Jeremy Willis echoed those sentiments, describing the show as “absolutely incredible” and “spectacular.”   

“I am so proud of my students for this performance,” said Ritter. “They have worked so hard, and tonight it paid off. This is a really special group of kids, and I will really miss them next year.

“Getting to direct the fifth-grade chorus is my favorite thing to do,” Ritter added. “This was the 13th chorus show I have directed at RES, and it was my favorite one yet.

“I appreciate all the support from our administration, teachers, parents and the community.”

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