By Mrs. Carolyn Cleveland, Special to the Sword and Shield

Congratulations to Senior Nathalie Stewart, who auditioned and passed the All-State Choral auditions for 2011-2012 school year. This student will represent Richland County School District One and Keenan with other students of various schools across the state at Winthrop University March 15-17 with a culminating concert on Saturday, March 17.  Keenan is the only school to represent the district in the All-State Choral Program. Stewart will participate in an intensive three-day choral training program under the expertise of the conductor, Dr. Charlene Archibeque, professor at San Jose State University.

The All-State Choral Program was organized to provide an opportunity for superior choral students in South Carolina to sing together and to represent the state in statewide events. Students who participate in All-State have an opportunity to further utilize the skills obtained and developed in their local school programs. The South Carolina All-State Choral Program provides an intensive and demanding vocal experience, which fosters self-discipline and personal growth as well as musicianship.  The All-State Women’s Choir is the top choir for females participating in the All-State Choral Program. Membership in the All-State Chorus and All-State Women’s Chorus is on the basis of total points received in the audition. Students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades must be enrolled for credit for both semesters in a school choral program directed by a member in good standing of South Carolina Music Educators Association (SCMEA) and MENC: The National Association for Music Education.

Auditions were held November 3-8, 2011.  There were a total of 1,921 students who auditioned across the state from over 75 different high schools; auditions were held at Saint Andrews Baptist Church in Columbia. Seven students from Keenan participated in the auditions, where 80% were able to advance from the 1st level to the 2nd level.  The 1st level consists of singing the prepared selection, Bach’s “Honor and Glory,” and the 2nd level, Sight-Singing, consists of reading unfamiliar music, demonstrating music literacy. Students are judged according to their individual and group performances and according to pitch and rhythmic accuracy, intonation, diction, tone quality, musicality and sight-reading ability.

Other students selected to participate in auditions were Sophomore Asyria Sims, Juniors Kayla Washington and Samonia Mason, and Seniors Christus Jamison, Courtney Wallace and Emmanuel Brown.

Mrs. Cleveland is Keenan’s Director of Activities.