Thursday, May 19, 2005

Holly Springs choir ‘ambassadors statewide’

Staff Writer

The Holly Springs High School Chorus has worked hard all year, and Friday evening was the time for the honors and awards to be passed around.

The Holly Springs High School Choir, under the direction of Barbara Anderson, held its awards banquet Friday at Rust College which included dinner and a concert.

This year 72 students participated in the choir, Anderson said. Students competed for district awards as well as in collegiate honor choir competitions.

Anderson said she is proud of the choir for accepting challenging collegiate repertoire to work on.

At state competitions the sextet and SSA (first and second soprano alto) choir both got superior ratings.

“So they are state champs,” Anderson said.

The Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass and Madrigal choirs received excellent ratings at state competitions.

The SSA girls choir received superior ratings at competition at Ole Miss.

Anderson spoke of what choir means to youngsters.

“It helps to foster pride, teamwork and discipline in group efforts,” she said. “It also helps to build character, dedication, devotion, commitment and sticking with it; perseverance and hanging in there.”

Anderson treats self-doubting by reminding herself of her purpose in life.

“I was placed here for this,” she said. “This is what He wants me to do. So, when I get discouraged, I say ‘this is not about me. It’s about Christ and preparing them.’ ”

Anderson said it is very apparent when the spirit is present during a performance and when it is not. It is the spirit being shared with others that makes a choir successful and joyful.

“I feel privileged someone touched me and I can carry on,” she said.

That someone was her own high school choir director Genevieve Gordon.

“You never know who you are touching in class,” she said. “Mrs. Gordon inspired me.”

Anderson believes that the student a teacher is influencing and inspiring is not necessarily the one the teacher thinks he or she is touching.

Principal Dorsey Patterson spoke to the important role that choir takes locally at Rust College and within the community as well as influences that choirs have when they travel.

“They are our ambassadors state-wide,” he said. “The choir is the cornerstone of the school. We excel athletically and we excel vocally.”

He called Anderson’s program “second to none.”

“The choir program is probably the best in terms of producing students who leave here and are recognized by professors at Ole Miss and Delta State. They get four-year scholarships,” Patterson said.

Frances Underwood, who recently retired from Holly Springs High School as a social studies teacher, said Anderson is one of the best.

“Barbara Anderson is very gifted,” she said. “She is exceptionally strong and family oriented. She directed choir at her church. She continued the tradition of Ms. Gene Gordon, her high school director.

A choir that travels is one that is excelling, Underwood said.

“This choir is always winning trophies,” she said.

Underwood said Anderson is the one who began paying attention to the total image of the choir by putting students in uniforms for competition.

“She is real strong in that,” Underwood said.

She called Anderson an “extremely adept director.”

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