The Carroll County High School Chorus continues to hit new high notes.
Performing this weekend at Marion High School, the CCHS Chorus had 38 kids earn All-District honors, the most since Choral Director Chandra Harmon has been in charge of the program. Additionally, CCHS tied a school record this weekend with four girls earning All-Virginia honors, the chorus version of all-state. Additionally, another member earned alternate All-Virginia honors.
Earning All-Virginia honors for Carroll County were seniors Victoria Branscome, Monika Marshall, Maggie Gallimore and Mickayla Mabe. Junior R.J. Baber was also rewarded as an All-Virginia alternate. Branscome finished second for alto one, Marshall was third for soprano one, Gallimore placed third at soprano two, Mabe took fourth in soprano one, and Baber claimed his alternate spot at bass one. This is the fifth time in the past six years Carroll has had someone make all-Virginia, and the second straight year it has had four qualify.
“They only take 24 out of the whole district, so we had one out of every six seats and there are 26 schools competing for these spots in the district, about 109 kids that auditioned,” Harmon said. “I am so very proud of them. Some of them have grown leaps and bounds over the past six months. Monika and Mickayla have really learned a lot as singers this year. And we also had 38 kids make all-district, which is the most I have ever had.”
For Gallimore, it was her second straight year making All-Virginia. She joins CCHS alums Janelle Lanning and Jonathan Griffin as Carroll County’s two-time state winners. Gallimore and her three all-state teammates will perform at Virginia Tech in April along with the rest of the All-Virginia Chorus at the university’s new performing arts center.
Last year, the All-Virginia Chorus concert was held near Washington, D.C., so being close to home will be nice, Harmon said. Especially considering the CCHS Chorus will be competing the last weekend in March in the World’s Strides Onstage Performance Series in Orlando, Fla., where Carroll will be competing with schools all across the country. The group has also performed in Boston and the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City and has been invited to perform overseas in Italy and Sydney, Australia, although those trips were just too expensive, Harmon said.
“We will be in Orlando for four days. The school board bought us new dresses this year for the girls and the kids are very proud of those,” Harmon said. “The school board has been really supportive of things we have done.”
The Carroll Chorus will also be presenting Disney’s The Little Mermaid during the third weekend in April. The play is based off the Disney movie and involves many chorus students. Harmon said she couldn’t have asked for a better group of chorus students to take on so much and achieve so many great things.
“I’m just really proud of the kids. I have been sick this year and the kids have done a lot of stuff on their own as far as getting prepared for it and their auditions,” Harmon said. “The work ethic of these students this year has blown me away all across the board from beginning students all the way up to the seniors. The kids have been super supportive and helped me through a lot of stuff.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on [email protected]