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Eisenhower students earn spots on SWKMEA district choir PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 December 2017 10:54

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ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times



Several local students will soon have the opportunity to sing for a larger audience and show off their vocal skills. 

Thirteen 7th and 8th graders and fourteen 6th graders, all from Eisenhower Middle School, will be participating in the Southwest Kansas Music Educators Association (SWKMEA) district choir in January. E.M.S. Vocal Music Teacher Jackie Depew said she was proud to hear of all the E.M.S. students who were chosen. 

“I was really proud of them, to have that many selected was amazing,” Depew said. “They were excited too, they had already been looking online themselves for the roster and were just waiting for me to tell them. I didn’t tell them that Monday since I didn’t see them that day. So a few of them had looked online already and then when I started to tell the group they were saying ‘We already know, we already know!’ So they were really excited to learn they’d gotten in after checking the site multiple times.”

Indeed, the students selected also expressed much excitement about being chosen for the district choir. 

“I found out after my friend had looked online and then I was just like ‘That’s me!’” E.M.S. student Brady Kappelmann said. 

“I was shocked but excited we all get to go,” fellow E.M.S. student Caitlyn Underwood added. 

The actual audition process took place in October, with the students sing “Dona Nobis Pacem” a cappella on a recording, which was then sent to the judging committee. Then from there, several judges listened to the auditions and any recordings with glitches or technical issues got thrown out, and then from all the remaining recordings they chose a certain number of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses based on those recordings. The students will practice the music for the concert beforehand and then will go to Dodge City Jan. 20 for the music clinic that day and then perform all the songs for that concert that afternoon. Students selected for the choir expressed excitement about going to the clinic and performing, and Depew added she is looking forward to working with the students beforehand.

“I would say I’m excited to be seeing people from all the other schools because it’s hard sometimes singing but not knowing who else you’ll be singing with,” E.M.S. student Brooks Kappelmann said.

“I would say it’s getting to know students who like the same thing we do and then practicing with everyone else,” fellow E.M.S. student Jireh Rameriz added. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing all of them learn their separate parts and then hearing how all the parts come together, so that’s why it’s so neat we have a couple bass parts and a couple tenor parts with the altos and sopranos,” Depew said. 

Depew again praised the work of the students who were picked for this year’s choir. 

“It’s a big deal we have as many students going as we do because you’re only guaranteed one soprano, one alto, one tenor and one bass, that’s it,” Depew said. “So it really is a situation where they were qualified to go and to have that many get in, that’s pretty amazing. We went in with some high expectations with this group as far as them making it and I’d told them that, but they had already set a high bar for themselves so they were really excited to get in.”


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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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