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franklin county times

RHS senior performs in all-state show choir for sixth year

Russellville High School senior Kaitlyn Balding got the chance to show off her vocal skills as a member of the Alabama All-State SSA Show Choir in the Alabama All-State Choral Festival March 9-11 at the BJCC in Birmingham.

She auditioned in November 2022. This marks her sixth year to be selected.

While there, the choir performed for nearly 2,000 members of the public in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center concert hall.

“The performance was phenomenal. They only choose the elite singers for this,” explained Aaron Freeman, choral director for RMS and RHS. Freeman has been her teacher for two years. “Kaitlyn made Soprano One. She’s a tenacious, hard worker, and she knows how to go after what she wants.

“I’m very proud of her ongoing accomplishments,” he added, noting Balding has been a part of Russellville’s music program since the sixth grade.

The Alabama Music Educators Association website describes the choir as “an elite performance ensemble” made up of Alabama high school students who undergo a “rigorous vocal and dance audition” to try out for selection. The website further explains the festival features include participating in a professionally recorded concert at the end of the event.

Balding describes being chosen and performing at the festival as a “great experience.”

“I had so much fun getting to know other people in the choir and learning how to sing the pieces for our performance on an even better level than before,” she explained, adding she enjoyed getting to see other choirs perform as part of the festival events.

“This was an exciting experience, and I’m so glad I got to attend,” Balding added. “Being able to achieve this goal is such a blessing, and I’m so thankful for my choir directors, Mrs. Emily Rush and Mr. Aaron Freeman, for getting me started on this path and helping me get to the finish line.”

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