Arts and Entertainment

Local singers selected for All-State Choir

Totem Middle School singers, from left, Laura Davis, Jeneé Barlow and Cheri Loertscher, have been selected to sing as part of the Washington Music Educators Association Junior All-State Choir in February. - Lauren Salcedo
Totem Middle School singers, from left, Laura Davis, Jeneé Barlow and Cheri Loertscher, have been selected to sing as part of the Washington Music Educators Association Junior All-State Choir in February.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

MARYSVILLE — With popular television shows like American Idol and The Voice shining light on vocal talent from people around the country, it’s no surprise that some local performers have set high goals for themselves as well — including some who haven’t even started high school yet.

Three singers from the Totem Middle School choir program have been selected to perform as part of the Washington Music Educators Association Junior All-State Choir, after sending in audition tapes.

Cheri Loertscher is an eighth-grade student who one day hopes to audition for the X Factor, a talent competition show on Fox.

“That would be so awesome,” said Loertscher, who is also trying out for a band.

Right now, however, she is focusing on her upcoming performance as part of the mixed choir at the WMEA Junior All-State Choir gala in Vancouver, Wash., on Feb. 16, while sixth-graders Jeneé Barlow and Laura Davis are gearing up to perform as part of the youth choir.

Davis described how she and her classmates learned they’d been chosen for honor choir.

“It was like any other day,” she said. “But then at the end of class, Mr. [James] Orr made a big announcement and I nearly fell out of my chair.”

Barlow was also excited to be chosen.

“I thought I was ready for honor choir last year, but I got too nervous,” she said. “This year I didn’t get nervous at all. I’ve never had voice lessons, so when I sang at the talent show last year everyone said I should take my singing further.”

All of the girls discovered passion for singing early in their lives.

“I love how you can arrange the notes in a specific order to make a wonderful, beautiful sound,” said Loertscher, who first performed on stage in a third-grade talent show where she sang the Star Spangled Banner. Davis began singing in church as a first-grader and Barlow sang during family gatherings.

“When I was up there singing at the talent show last year I was a little nervous,” said Barlow. “When I saw my family I felt so much better. Afterward I started to cry because I was happy to have that chance to express myself.”

Davis described a similar experience at the fifth-grade talent show.

“In fifth grade I thought, I’m going to do this Owl City song ‘Fireflies.’ So I’m getting up in front of all these people, and they all have these sparkly outfits on and I was just singing my heart out. And I loved it.”

The students will rehearse their songs at home prior to the event and again under the direction of WMEA music educators after arriving in Vancouver. The final concert performance will take place in the afternoon on Feb. 16.

 

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