Honor choir members on their way to Hawaii

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Eleven-year-old Anne-Marie White has been singing her whole life but said it wasn't until she was 6 that she began to take it seriously.

The last five years of serious singing has prepared her for being chosen -- along with five other Carson Middle School students -- to perform in the Honor Choirs in Hawaii on Feb. 20-23.

"I practice about a half hour every day," Anne-Marie said. "Some of the music is not my favorite but other stuff I absolutely love. I like music that's upbeat but still pretty."

Students had to send in an audition tape to the American Choral Director's Association, made up of choral directors from schools, religious groups and other organizations.

All five Carson Middle School students who sent in tapes were selected for either the Children's Honor Choir or the Junior High Honor Choir.

"We are so pleased," said teacher Nancy Mielke. "Usually, our school gets one or two. When they were all chosen, it was like frosting on the cake for our school."

Sarah White, 11, cried when she opened the letter telling her she would be one of the students traveling to Honolulu.

"I just want to be there on the beach," she said. "It's supposed to be really beautiful. I've seen postcards of it and I love it."

The students will join with more than 100 other students from throughout the Western United States in performing a variety of numbers.

Elizabeth Peebles, 12, grew up singing with her father Stewart Peebles, who is the choir director at Carson High School.

However, she said nothing compares to singing with a large group.

"It sounds like it's one person singing with one big voice," she said.

It will also be a chance to make new friends.

"I'm very excited," said Natalie Brazeau, 13. "It will be a really good experience and we're going to meet a lot of kids who are interested in what we're interested in."

It will also be a chance to develop their personal talents.

"I love to sing," said Jennifer McMenomy, 13. "That's one of my best qualities."

However, the honor choir, like the school's choir, is heavily unbalanced.

Michael Gallagher, 13, will be the only boy from Carson Middle School traveling to Hawaii.

"I think there should be more boys," he said. "They just don't realize how special music is."

Mielke said sending the group to Hawaii will not only benefit the individual students but the entire program at the middle school.

"They come back and have so much to share with the other kids in the choir class," she said. "The whole level of our choir goes up."

Each child's family will be responsible for securing funding for the trip.


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