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Volume 24, Number 3 — March 2017

Eleven Local Singers Named to National Honors Choirs

The Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy members who qualified will attend the OAKE national conference March 22-24 in Chicago. See a closeup of the students below.
The Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy members who qualified will attend the OAKE national conference March 22-24 in Chicago. See a closeup of the students below.
Additional photos below »

March 15, 2007

Eleven members of the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy were named to honors choirs by the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. They will travel to Chicago later this month to perform under the direction of acclaimed choral directors in a series of concerts during the OAKE National Conference.

- Avery Deakins, 11, of Johnson City, was named to the children's choir. He is a fifth-grader at Woodland Elementary School. He has been a member of the MECCA in the East Tennessee Children's Choir for three years. This is his first year to be named to an OAKE honors choir.

Eight MECCA members were named to the youth choir.
- Katelyn Merrill, 13, of Abingdon, Va., is a seventh-grader at St. Anne's Catholic School. She has been in the ETCC for four years. This is the third year she has been selected to an OAKE honors choir.

- Grace Grunstra, 12, of Bristol, Va., is a home-schooled seventh-grader. She has been in the ETCC for five years, and has been named to an OAKE honors choir for three years.

- Taylor Moorefield, 11, of Mosheim, Tenn., is a home-schooled sixth-grader. He has been in ETCC for three years. This is the first year he's been named to an OAKE honors choir.

- Ramsey Gross, 13, of Johnson City, is an eighth-grader at Science Hill High School She was in the ETCC for four years and this year joined the Highlands Youth Ensemble. She has been named to an OAKE honors choir for three years.

- Amanda Minutolo, 11, of Johnson City is a sixth-grader at Indian Trail Middle School. She has been in the ETCC for three years. This is the first year she has been named to an OAKE honors choir.

- Heidi Faust, 14, of Johnson City, is an eighth-grader at the University School. She was in the ETCC for five years and joined the HYE this year. This is her fourth year being named to an OAKE honors choir.

- Annie Hopson, 12, of Johnson City, is a seventh-grader at the University School. She has been in the ETCC for four years and has been named to an OAKE honors choir for three years.

- Adam Gambrel, 11, of Bristol, Va., is a sixth-grader at E.B. Stanley Middle School. He has been in the ETCC for two years. This is the first year he has been named to an OAKE honors choir.
Two members of the Highlands Youth Ensemble were named to the concert choir.

- Benjamin Loy, 16, of Johnson City, is a sophomore at the University High School. He has been involved in the MECCA for five years. This is the first year he has been named to the OAKE honors choir.

- Johnny Dreyzehner, 16, of Abingdon, Va., is a sophomore at Abingdon High School. This is the first year he has been in the HYE and the first year he has been named to an OAKE honors choir.

The OAKE national conference will be held March 22-24 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

Directing the children's choir will be Emily Ellsworth, artistic director of the Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Children's Chorus. Under her direction, the chorus has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and with Julia Roberts, Garth Brooks, Dennis DeYoung, and Chicago area orchestras. The chorus has performed at national conventions of Chrous America and the American Choral Director's Association and has held concert tours of Italy, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong for the World's Children's Chorus Festival, and mainland China.

Directing the youth choir will be Gabriella Thesz, conductor of the Hungarian Radio Children's Choir. Directing the concert choir will be Jeffrey Redding, director of choral activities at West Orange (Fla.) High School. He directed the American Choral Director's Association honor choir.

The Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy is under the artistic direction of Beth Perkinson McCoy. McCoy holds a master's degree in music education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and is a published author and composer. She is a diaconal minister of music in the United Methodist Church and teaches private piano and voice lessons.

For more information about MECCA, visit www.meccacademy.org.




Left to right, top row are: Avery Deakins, Johnny Dreyzehner and Heidi Faust; Second row: Adam Gambrel, Ramsey Gross and Grace Grunstra;Third row: Annie Hopson, Benjamin Loy and Katelyn Merrill; Bottom row: Amanda Minutolo and Taylor Moorefield.