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Elementary schools 'Sing Around Nebraska'Tell North Platte what you think
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Putting on the show at day's end.
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Getting organized around 9 a.m.

On Saturday morning, more than 160 elementary and middle school choir members from 16 western Nebraska schools converged at the Hershey school for a day of fun and songs.

Hershey’s Music Director Teresa Rotert hosted this year’s assembly, continuing the duties she took on in 1998. 

"We (Hershey)volunteered the first year and have just been doing it every year since," Rotert said. "Sing around Nebraska is an annual event that is sponsored by the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. This is the 22nd year. Our school is one of 10 sites that host performances in the state." 

Singers in grades 4-6 participated and were divided into their respective voical ranges. The singers learned their parts in advance, so they spent most of the day working with the guest director Deb Dowling of Hastings rehearsing the production, according to Greg Loghry, Music director for Dundy County Stratton School.

Participating elementary and middle school choirs included Adams Middle School-North Platte, Arnold, Arthur, Chase County, Eisenhower-North Platte, Grant-Perkins County, Hershey, Madrid-Perkins County, Maxwell, Ogallala Middle School, Prairie View- Ogallala, Stratton-Dundy County, Sutherland, Valentine, Washington-North Platte and Wauneta Palisades

At 4 p.m., the combined choir filed into the high school gymnasium and presented a public concert to a full house audience in the gymnasium. The bleachers filled up and chairs were placed on the floor to accommodate the capacity crowd.

She also noted that the last song of the show was an emotional performance that combined the Pledge of Allegiance and the song, America the Beautiful.  

“The kids sang it so well that it brought tears to our eyes," she said. "They were just great! The piece so moved the crowd that the choir received a standing ovation.”

It was apparent that the performance demanded a lot of work and coordination between the music directors and the students. It gave young singers and dancers the opportunity to showcase their talents, interact with music directors, and improve their musical skills.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 2/24/2014
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