Harlan Independent Students Show Their Musical Skills, High Notes

Published 7:19 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Harlan Independent Students Sing in Honor Choirs

The 2021 Southeastern Kentucky Music Association (SKMA) Junior High All-Festival was held recently in London, KY at the First Baptist Church.

Jon Oliver, Choir Director at Hunter Hills Elementary School and the 2019 Kentucky Music Educators Association Elementary Teacher of the Year, was the conductor for the Children’s Chorus. The accompanist was Jeanne Ann Lee, Choral Director at Harlan County High School.

The following students participated in the Children’s Chorus: Shealyn Brackett, Harper Carmical, Avery Eversole, Michael Lindsey, Kastiel Napier, Meadow Saylor and Landon Traylor.

Leeann Starkey conducted the Junior High Chorus, which consisted of students in the 7–9th grades. Starkey is the conductor of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and her choral compositions have been featured in festivals and honor choirs throughout North America. Marilyn Schraeder from Harlan Independent School was the accompanist.

The following students participated in the Junior High SAB Chorus: Kenton Hensley, Addison Lemar, Kade Napier and Bella Wagers.

The final song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” was performed by the combined choirs and all of the choir directors. There was a total of 138 students representing 21 schools that participated in the festival.

Lee Participates in KMEA All-State Chorus

Kevin Thomas Lee, a member of the Harlan Boys Choir, participated in the 2022 TTBB All-State Chorus in Louisville.
In order to be selected for an All-State Chorus, a student has to audition in a quartet with 4 judges, perform a section of the music as a solo, and also sight-read unfamiliar music with one judge.

The conductor of the TTBB Chorus was Dr. Eugene Rogers, a two-time Emmy Award winner, a 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient, and a 2015 GRAMMY Award nominee. Rogers is the director of choirs and an associate professor of conducting at the University of Michigan.

One hundred schools were represented in the 2022 TTBB, SSAA and SATB All-State Choirs. There were 184 students in the TTBB Chorus that performed in the Kentucky Center.

Lee said he had an awesome time participating in the TTBB Choir. He also got to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” each night at the Hyatt Regency.

In what has become a tradition, CBS was there to record the event that later aired on the CBS Evening News.

Lee, a sophomore at Harlan Independent School, is the son of Jeremy and Denise Lee, and grandson of Jeanne Ann Luttrell Lee, choir director at Harlan County High School.

Harlan Independent Students Participate in KMEA Children’s Choir
Bella Miniard, a member of the Harlan Middle School Choir, and Michael Lindsey, a member of the Harlan Boys Choir, participated in the 2022 Kentucky Children’s Chorus in Louisville.

The conductor of the Chorus was Tom Shelton, associate professor and chair of the Conducting, Organ, and Sacred Music Department at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He is also the Director of Children’s and Youth Choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church and conducts two ensembles with the Princeton Girlchoir Organization.

Fifty-three schools and 185 students were represented in the 2022 Kentucky Children’s Chorus. Marilyn Schraeder is the director of the Harlan Middle School Choir and also the Harlan Boys Choir. Clara Atkins-Pope is the assistant-director and accompanist.

Miniard is the daughter of Crystal and Michael Miniard, and Michael is the son of Michael and Anne Pope Lindsey.