By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
The Stewarts Creek High School Chorale has received a formal invitation to perform at the 2017 Tennessee School Board Association’s annual convention in Nashville.
The performance will take place Friday, Nov. 3 at 5: 15 p.m. during the opening of the general session in the Governors Ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Brian Russell will lead the choir in a trio of pieces — a shape-note hymn from the Appalachian Mountains, a bluegrass song and an African-American spiritual — that have their origins in the American Southeast.
“It’s an honor for our students to get a chance to showcase their talent for the leaders from across the state,” said Russell, who has been at Stewarts Creek since it opened in 2013 and likewise is beginning his fifth school year as the choir director.
Rutherford County School Board member Wayne Blair, who is the president of the TSBA, added, “It fills me with an incredible sense of pride for our students and our educators to be recognized for their excellence and their dedication. For them to be part of Rutherford County Schools is all the more satisfying.”
There are more than 140 choir students at Stewarts Creek.
Auditions were held last spring for the various choirs offered at the school. A 22-member choir made of students from the school’s top two choirs will perform at the convention.
Students were asked to sing individually for Russell, who graded them on range, tone quality and sight reading. In addition to the annual vocal placement, Russell takes into account their participation and performance in-school and after-school rehearsals.
A choir from Middle Tennessee State University has invited Stewarts Creek to perform with them three days after the TSBA convention on Nov. 6.
“These students are being asked to perform quite a bit this year,” said Russell, beaming with pride as he compared their accomplishments with sports teams competing at the state tournament. “They’re applauded and lauded just as much as students in sports.”