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JCHS vocal music program gleeful with success

Several students from the Jefferson City High School Choir have been selected to be in the All State Choir. They are, clockwise from foreground middle, Emily Myers, Brittany Kaiser, Katie Ziegler, Cole Lympus, Kael Upschulte and Hampton Waggoner, upper row right. Unavailable for the photograph was Hayden Miller.

Several students from the Jefferson City High School Choir have been selected to be in the All State Choir. They are, clockwise from foreground middle, Emily Myers, Brittany Kaiser, Katie Ziegler, Cole Lympus, Kael Upschulte and Hampton Waggoner, upper row right. Unavailable for the photograph was Hayden Miller. Photo by Julie Smith.

Not only did seven Jefferson City High School students earn positions on the Missouri All-State Choir — an unusually high number for a single high school — the school’s show choir, J-City Riot, placed first at the Webb City Show Choir Showcase earlier this month.

And, for the first time in decades, students, not adults, designed the choreography for the school’s annual musical, “West Side Story.” Not to mention that earlier in September, 33 JCHS singers made District Choir.

Suffice it to say, JCHS’s vocal music program is having a fabulous year.

“We always have talented kids. But just to place that many on the All-State Choir is wonderful,” said Beth Dampf, the high school’s vocal music director.

The seven All State singers are: Emily Myers, Brittany Kaiser, Kael Upschulte, Hampton Waggoner, Katie Ziegler, Cole Lympus and Hayden Miller.

Once assembled, the All State Choir will be 192 of the best voices chosen from across the state. The students will rehearse together in late January under the direction of Josh Habermann, the director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. The event concludes with a performance — free and open to the public — scheduled for Jan. 26 at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach.

Waggoner was “thrilled” to be chosen for the All State Choir, and attributed much of the group’s success to Dampf. “She’s got everything on track,” he said.

Dampf said her students began rehearsing for the district and state competitions in August. To be successful at the district and state levels, Dampf said all competitors perfect the same selection. They also fine tune a solo piece and work to improve their sight reading.

Within the JCHS vocal music program are four subgroups, including: the Chorale, the J-City Riot, the Concert Choir and the Freshman Chorus.

An expanded version of this article originally appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, issue of our newspaper and e-Edition.

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