SIDNEY — Voices Eternal, show choir at Christian Academy Schools (CAS), recently traveled to Williamsburg, VA to compete in their first contest. The group had the option of either competing for a placing, a rating, or to only receive feedback on their performance. Director, Maureen Joines, opted to have them receive feedback since this was their first competition.
The group has so far performed locally at different churches for various functions, a funeral, a Christmas fundraiser singing for people for a donation, as well as functions at CAS. They also performed for high school principal Brad Horton, who recently passed away from esophogeal cancer. The group was a favorite of his.
“He had always said we needed to make a CD. Anytime we’d be practicing a new song, I’d send someone to get Mr. Horton, and he’d sit and listen and told us we need to make a cd. When he was nearing the end, we knew we couldn’t make the CD, but we Facebooked it to his wife, and she played it for him. I think the kids felt really good that they got that done for him,” said Joines.
Voices Eternal received beneficial feedback from the judges. When they finished performing, the group received an on-stage clinic from the judges.
“The trip was very beneficial. The judges were very positive. They thought their sound was great and gave them some tips on smiling more and selling the show. The students really enjoyed performing and it was a great experience,” said Joines.
The choir also met with Betsy Forest, former high school choir director of Joines. She also took the time to offer feedback on their performance.
“My former teacher loved the group and reiterated what the judges said about enjoying the performance and pulling the audience into it,” said Joines.
The group also watched a couple other groups perform.
In addition to their performances, Voices Eternal took time to sightsee and participate in educational activities.
“We visited Colonial Williamsburg. They also enjoyed Busch Gardens and the award ceremony held there,” said Joines.
This is the third year Voices Eternal has been in existence. It was in the works for quite some time before it could be fit in the schedule. Students must be in their freshman year to participate. The class meets four days per week.
“Mrs. Smith and I had been talking about this for years, and we were finally able to give it the go-ahead. The kids worked hard for this trip, and the parents helped quite a bit. It was great,” said Joines.
Of the 12 members of the choir, 10 made the trip. Five parents, including Joines, served as chaperones. The students attending were Bethany Abbott, Josten Carpenter, Hannah Michael, Michael Toal, Emma Abbott, Kelly Curlis, Melody Joines, Alayna Milks, Mya Newman and Alyssa Pepiot.
“Emma Michael had a ruptured appendix three days before we left so she couldn’t go,” said Joines.
Joines has enjoyed her year with this group of students.
“They’re some of the hardest working kids I’ve ever worked with. They do everything I ask them to with very little grumbling and mumbling, if any at all. They have fun together, which is really cool,” said Joines.