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‘Voices of the Future’ new community chorus for students

Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 5:40 am

Students in grades sixth through eighth are invited to be a part of something exciting and new, the “Voices of the Future”, a community chorus open to students in Lincoln County and surrounding areas.

The mission of the Lincoln County “Voices of the Future” Chorus is to develop, nurture and encourage lifelong learning, enjoyment and love of music through choral singing for all students in grades 6-8 throughout all of Lincoln County, as well as neighboring communities, said Barry Petty, director.

“Most students in our area receive some sort of music instruction in grades K-5, but the opportunity to sing during adolescence is almost non-existent,” Petty explained.

At present, there are no sixth through eighth grade choirs in any of the county’s feeder schools – Blanche, Highland Rim, South Lincoln, Flintville and Unity – putting local students behind those in other school systems that offer choir, Petty said.

“Unfortunately for our students, grades 6-8 are the most important years for vocal development. Boys and girls are all going through significant vocal changes, and research shows that the lack of vocal training during this time puts the students at an extreme disadvantage to those who desire to sing during their high school and adult years.

“Pitch matching and vocal technique are negatively affected by the lack of singing during this time. It is our purpose to give these students the opportunity for singing during these crucial years.”

The “Voices of the Future” group will perform a winter concert and a spring concert, according to Petty. There may be other community performances as invited.

“The group will receive training in music reading and will sing music of varying styles and periods,” Petty noted. “The ‘Voices of the Future’ is meant to be a positive learning experience for the singers, one that they will carry with them throughout their lifetimes. These young people will be sharing wonderful times together, both musically and socially.”

The group will meet on Tuesdays from 6 until 7 p.m. at the Lincoln County High School Choral Room. Please contact Petty at bpetty@lcdoe.org for more information about when meetings will begin.

Petty, who was born and raised in Huntsville, Ala., is starting his second year as the choral director at the Ninth Grade Academy and Lincoln County High School. He is in his 26th year as music director at Fayetteville First United Methodist Church. Petty was previously the director of choirs and music director at Lee High School. Huntsville City Schools’ Magnet Program for the Creative and Performing Arts in Huntsville from 1991 to 2016.

While there, the choirs were selected to perform at the Alabama Music Educators Association Conference on three different occasions and was also the only high school choir selected to perform at the Southern Division of the Music Educators National Conference in Tampa, Fla., in 2005.

Petty directed the Lee High School Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, Concert Choir and Show Choir which were winners of Grand Championships in competitions in Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Gatlinburg, Williamsburg and Atlanta.

Petty earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1983 and a masters degree in music education in 1989 from the University of Alabama.

For more information on the director, visit www.barrypetty.com.