“We haven’t had a tradition here in the last several years of being invited to do these types of things so that’s even more of a reason why we’re considering it such an honor,” choral director Jarred Summey said. “It’s kind of affirming that our program is building back to what we want it to be and that it’s coming back to what it once was.”
He explained the performance is part of an annual open house held in December at the mansion.
“They have an application through Georgia Music Educators where you can apply to go perform ... and they have time slots assigned for your group and this is our first year to be accepted,“ Summey said. “The group is doing some traditional arrangements of winter and Christmas music, including ‘Breath of Heaven,’ ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’ ... and a tune called ‘Through Winter’s Window.’”
The group was alerted of the selection in September and has been working on the pieces since mid-October. Last year the group traveled to a performance in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
With high school performing arts being featured, and often dramatized, in movies and television in recent years, Summey said the chorus program at CHS provides a positive influence on students.
“The biggest thing is I feel [the program] gives the students a sense of community,” Summey said. “It gives them the chance to work as a team and be artistic and expressive and something you have to work through with your emotions together.”
Senior Angelique Lewis and sophomore Leah Forsyth agreed.
“I have been in chorus my whole life, especially at Cass, and leaving everybody behind and my chorus group is going to be really sad [after graduation]. I think that any freshman who comes here will have a really good time in chorus,” Lewis said. “We have such amazing songs and Mr. Summey is an amazing instructor.”
Forsyth, also a long-time chorus participant, said she appreciates what being involved in chorus has done for her as an individual.
“Music has just been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I just love to sing,” Forsyth said. “I just love going on stage and performing with other people, I get this great feeling and sense of accomplishment.”
Woodland Middle School’s band also has been invited to perform. Information regarding their performance was not available at press time