LCMS vocalists win top prize

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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Over the weekend, the vocalists of Long Cane Middle School performed at the 30th annual Southern Star Music Festival in Atlanta.

The Southern Star Music Festival, created in 1993, is an educational music festival for elementary, middle and high school music groups. As each group performs, three veteran music educators provide scoring and feedback on their performance.

Asha Brown, choir director of LCMS, said the chorus received superior ratings on their performance and had the highest score out of the choral groups in their division.

“We competed in a state festival, and it was our first time bringing home a gold trophy in about a decade. The kids were the top-scored group out of all the other choirs participating,” Brown said.

She said it was very exciting to be able to take the students to festival.

“We usually only perform within the district and here at home, so it was cool to see the kids rise to the challenge of competing on a bit of a larger scale,” Brown said. “Prior to the festival, we spent a lot of time on repetition and doing after-school rehearsals. It took a lot of focus and time commitment on their part to make things happen. They’ve really been rockstars these past few months.”

Eighth-grader Gracie Harrelson said she loved her experience at the festival.

“The most memorable part of the trip for me was when our school name got called for the gold trophy. I loved the absolute shock on everyone’s faces and how we all jumped up and went absolutely bonkers,” Harrelson said. “It’s a huge improvement from last year, and it’s great to know that as I leave middle school, I can look back and say, “I helped win this trophy for us all.”

Leo Murphy said he is proud of the accomplishment and looks forward to having more experiences like this.

“The time I had here was the best, and I will always remember it. I was so emotional because this is something we worked hard for. I’m proud of us, and I can’t wait for more adventures in the future,” Murphy said.

Sixth-grader Lyvi Franks said it was cool getting feedback on what they needed to do better and getting rewarded for all the things they did well.

Caroline Butler said she was happy with their performance at the festival.

“The festival was amazing. I thought we sounded wonderful and was extremely happy and proud of us when we got our awards. Everything from the rides to our singing brought me so much joy at the festival,” Butler said.

In the aftermath of their big win, Brown said the win motivated a lot of the students.

“It really sparked a light in a lot of the kids and helped them realize that they are putting in good work and they do sound great. Getting that recognition from someone other than their director seemed to really boost their confidence,” Brown said. “My hope is just that they are proud of themselves and carry that feeling and passion with them however they continue to pursue music in the future.”