Bolles middle and lower school students participate in First Coast Honors Choir Festival

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Twelve Bolles Middle School chorus singers and two students from the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus participated in the First Coast Honors Choir Festival Jan. 27 under the auspices of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus. Students from 26 different schools in the Jacksonville, Orlando and South Georgia areas joined voices for a repertoire in concert.

Bartram Chorus members chosen for the distinction of participating in the First Coast Honors Choir were: Mary Katherine Asbury, Isabel Bassin, Yancin Chen, Abigale Gartner, Vivien Gibbons, Daniel Ji, Sophia Joyner, Katrina Kirov, Isa Landa, Caylee Padgett and Shruthi Pakala. Meghanne Posick and Maura Waller represented the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus.

The Bolles singers have been working with chorus and music teachers Rachel Clifton and Stacey Posick in preparation for the festival. In addition to helping students learn pieces in varying styles, the teachers also accompanied students to the event.

“The festival provides unique opportunities for students to highlight their wealth of vocal talent while working with outstanding clinicians from across the United States,” Clifton said.

The guest conductor for the boys’ ensemble was Vincent Oakes, the artistic director of the Chattanooga Boys Choir. Oakes, who is president-elect of American Choral Directors Association's 3,000-member southern division, and Middle School Head Mike Drew, were former colleagues at the Baylor School in Chattanooga. Prior to the festival, Oakes came to the Middle School Bartram Campus to spend time with Drew and meet Clifton.

Sandy Holland, the founding and artistic director of Young Voices of the Carolinas, served as director of the girls’ ensemble. Holland is a coral clinician and guest lecturer on children's vocal development.

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