CES Orffestra performs at Hawks game

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A group of choral students from Cartersville Elementary School experienced an event last weekend that they will never forget.

The 41 fourth- and fifth-grade singers in the CES Orffestra traveled to Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta Sunday afternoon for a pregame performance before the Atlanta Hawks-Milwaukee Bucks basketball game.

The Orffestra — an auditioned group founded in 1986 by the CES music specialist as a public relations tool to promote the music program in the community — took its name from German musician Carl Orff, who designed the instruments the students use to accompany their singing, according to a press release.

Lovingood’s past connection with the Hawks landed the gig for the honors chorus.

“I had taken the CMS Canes Chorus a few times, and the Hawks contacted me when they found out I had transferred to the elementary [school] and we had a performing group,” he said. “It was still by audition, and I had to send a video of our students performing as well as describe what we were wearing for our performance.”

For the pregame show, Lovingood said the chorus had to “convert two seven-minute songs into an under-five-minute performance.”

The singers performed — without instruments, due to time constraints — an inspirational song called “Everlasting Melody,” which has a “very uplifting message of having a melody in your heart that just has to come out,” and “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees “in honor of our theme at CES, ‘We Believe in CES,’” Lovingood said.

Auditions for Orffestra were conducted in August, and 44 musically talented fourth- and fifth-graders were chosen for the group, which rehearses every Tuesday, according to the music teacher.

So far, the performers have learned the two songs they did at the Hawks game and currently are working on four numbers for their Christmas concert, which will be a collaboration with the Cartersville High School chorus, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. in the CHS auditorium.

Since Lovingood took over the chorus, it has participated in the Bartow Honor Chorus and will participate in the District 7 Honor Chorus, the Berry College Honor Chorus and the Elementary Statewide Honor Chorus, he said.