Wilson ready to sing In Harmony

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Choral students in Wilson County are doing their vocal exercises in preparation for In Harmony 28.

The 28th annual concert will bring together 340 high school and 91 elementary school singers is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fike High School auditorium.

In Harmony is a fundraiser organized by the Wilson Education Partnership.

“The mission of In Harmony is to bring all three high schools together so they can have the benefit of a choreographer from out of town coming in to work with all three of them together,” said Robin Williams, WEP executive director. “They get to work with the students from other schools that they don’t get to work with every day. They get to understand how it works to have three different entities together.”

Williams said the event is like putting on a show.

“We are bringing elementary in this year so those younger kids who have a love for music will hopefully stick with it through the years and the audience will get a little bit of a viewpoint of it all,” Williams said. “We have a wonderful arts program in Wilson, so bringing it all together to see what talent we have is huge.”

This year, an art show has been added.

“It’s also drawing and painting and sculpture, so we have several schools that will be showcasing about 90 students’ work in the gym at the same time,” Williams said. “Each school is submitting an artwork, so we will have a small silent auction, so if someone wants to come and get a piece of artwork made by a local student, they will have the opportunity.”

Luke Hancock, choral director at Beddingfield High School, said 70 of his choral students have been preparing since February to join choral students from Fike and Hunt high schools.

“It started originally as a choreography festival and over the years it has evolved,” Hancock said. “We are changing it this year to where it’s going to be a showcase of each school. We are still going to do two group dances with all three schools and then we will be doing two of our regular festival pieces we would do as well.”

“It’s something that we look forward to every year,” Hancock said.

“Our first standard says sing a varied repertoire of music, so we are singing everything from a famous spiritual in our group to ‘Joyful, Joyful’ from ‘Sister Act’ and a little of everything in between.”

The groups will be singing “Good News, the Chariot’s Comin’” by Moses Hogan, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen, “Get on Your Feet” by Gloria Estefan and other popular melodies.

“You won’t see a show like this anywhere else and it’s definitely one that you want to watch,” Hancock said. “We have three of the best choral programs on this end of the state and it is definitely something to come see.”

Briah Pack, a senior who will be a soloist on “Joyful, Joyful,” is president of the chorus at Beddingfield.

“It’s great to be a role model and a representative for chorus,” Pack said. “I love In Harmony. It’s one of my favorite chorus events in the year. I just love to perform on stage in front of a lot of people. At times it can be hard, but we are all there to have fun and just perform for the county.”

Admission is $12. Tickets will be available at the door as long as they last.

“We don’t have a whole lot of tickets left,” Williams said. “They need to be there early if they want them.”

Proceeds will go back into the Wilson Education Partnership programs for students and teachers in Wilson County Schools.

“It helps us provide professional development,” Williams said. “It helps us do the job shadowing program. It helps us with the mini-grants. It helps us with the teacher support programs we do and for teacher supplies. It goes back to all of those programs.”

Williams said attendees will appreciate the talent in these schools.

“The music teachers are fabulous. The students are so talented,” Williams said. “It is a fun night of entertainment.”

The art show will be free and open in the gymnasium from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.