A Mulberry High School student has attained a position on the regional choir for possibly the first time in the school’s history.
Summer White, a ninth grade student at Mulberry High School, earned a soprano spot in the All-Region Honor Treble Choir. White was named 42nd chair in the choir.
This is the first time for a MHS student to hold a spot on the choir, said Dr. Lonnie Myers, Mulberry-Pleasant View Bi-County School District superintendent.
“We can’t find that there was ever an all-region choir member in the history of our school,” Myers said. “That doesn’t mean there wasn’t one; we just haven’t found any.”
This also was the first time for the school to send students to even compete in the choir, Myers said. Two other students, Rose Rippee and Hannah Hubbard, competed in the regional choir competition with White.
Though an art and music program was in place at the ninth grade level for some time, it has only been in place at the high school the past two years, Myers said.
Myers called it a risk for the school’s music director, Brandon Hanlon, to enter the students in a regional competition for the first time, but that it is important for students to take advantage of opportunities. In this instance, the “risk” paid off.
“For only the second year to have a music program, to have someone make the regional choir - I think that’s pretty good,” Myers said.
Each year, the Arkansas Choral Directors Association holds auditions for the all-region choirs and honor choirs. White, Rippee and Hubbard competed against hundreds of other students, White said.
“It was nerve wracking, but I kept my cool and I was confident that I would do my best,” White said.
White has been singing from a young age, and joined choir after singing in her church because she was often told she had an excellent voice, she said.
“I’ve always liked music and playing instruments … and singing is a way I can express myself,” White said.
White plans to continue singing and competing, and hopes to do well enough to garner scholarships to help her pay for a college degree, she said.
Myers said the school district is proud of White and her accomplishment, and of Rippee and Hubbard, who he said also did well at the competition.
“We’ve been emphasizing the last few years that it’s important to give our students a voice, literally and figuratively,” Myers said. “In this case, it was literally.”