The Thomson High School Chorus has received a lot of good news lately. Not only did the chorus win its national competition in San Antonio, Tex., on April 15-18, but a pair of students was chosen to participate in the Georgia All-State Chorus.
The National Heritage Choral Festival is broken into classifications by the size of high schools entered into the competition. The THS Concert Chorus took home a gold standard and superior ratings on its way to winning the contest for medium-sized schools.
Georgia All-State Chorus member Jacob Powers warms up for Mrs. Flamini-Caldwell's class.
"They really worked hard," said THS Chorus Teacher Valerie Flamini-Caldwell. "They spent time after school and bell to bell during class, especially on pieces that the concert chorus sang. It took a lot of focus for them to get as good as they were."
A smaller group within the chorus also received recognition during the festival. In the chamber ensemble competition, the Thomson Singers earned a silver standard, and excellent performance ratings.
Mrs. Flamini-Caldwell was pleased with the results from the competition. She was glad that all of the chorus' hard work paid off.
"I felt like they definitely deserved it," she said. "I was not surprised when we got our results. I thought they definitely did an awesome job."
In addition to dominating the competition in the National Heritage Choral Festival, members of the chorus got to see much of San Antonio, a city most of the students have never visited.
"It was a lot of fun. We got to tour the city, which it's always interesting to visit new places," said senior Hillary Murphey. "But the singing was the best part because this is my last year."
Most of the students had not traveled by plane prior to this trip, which made for an interesting voyage.
"I think the most incredible part of the trip for them was the plane ride," Mrs. Flamini-Caldwell said. "It was very exciting for me to see them experience something like that for the first time and get to be a part of that."
Also gaining recognition for THS were the two students who made All-State Chorus. Around 8,000 people from all across Georgia tried out, and only 1,000 were chosen to participate.
Zach Ansley, a THS junior along with freshman Jacob Powers were two of the 1,000 singers to make it through the six-month audition process. Even before participating in this year's All-State Chorus, Jacob is looking to the future.
"I'm going to do it again next year," he said.
After the good news of the past month, the THS chorus members feel like they have become a more tight-knit group than before.
The Thomson High School Chorus shows off the awards that were brought back from the National Heritage Choral Festival in San Antonio, Tex. last month.
"We all got closer because we had to be with each other (on the trip)," said senior Marcianne Aycock. "We got to learn more about other people."
But it was Mrs. Flamini-Caldwell that the students credited with bringing all of the talent together and making it happen.
"The way she gets into the music and the way that she expresses it from her point of view to us, that gets our emotions going," said senior Katie Jones.