BOONE — Voices of students from all nine Watauga County Schools will harmonize together at an all-county chorus event on April 11.

This free event will start at 6 p.m. and feature more than 200 students from sixth through 12th grades in the Watauga High School auditorium.

Erin Ellington, a music teacher at Mabel and Parkway schools, said the event will be under the direction of guest clinician Susan Mills, who serves as the director of music education in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. Mills helped to select most of the music for the performance, Ellington said.

Students will be singing songs such as “Boatmen Stomp,” “Lineage” and “How Can I Keep from Singing?” Ellington said the selection will also feature a few pieces from Africa, including a song that Mills brought back with her after she visited South Africa.

WCS has held the event before but it had been on a hiatus for a few years, Ellington said. WCS music teachers decided to revive the event. In January each school received the musical selections and started to practice with students. All nine schools will practice together for the first time the day of the choral event.

Ellington said she’s excited to see the final product of the hard work that’s went into the planning of this event, as coordinating among nine schools can be challenging. She added that it’s a different experience to practice the songs with a few people in class to hearing more than 200 voices blend together in an auditorium.

“I’m very excited about this event,” Ellington said. “It’s very rare for students from each of the individual schools to come together to put their voices together. I can’t wait for my students to experience the sound that we’ll be able to create.”

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